Dr. Lonnie Smith: The Turbanator

Dr. Lonnie Smith was born in Buffalo, NY in 1953. Musically inspired at a young age, he started playing trumpet. His first exposure to the Hammond organ was in church and through the records of Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith. After moving to New York City, he sat in with the Jack McDuff Quartet with George Benson. When Benson left to form his own group, he asked Smith to be his organist. Together they played on Lou Donaldson's 1967 album Alligator Boogaloo. After recording several albums with George Benson, Smith became a solo recording artist and developed a career that has produced over 30 albums under his own name. While his debut was 1966ís Finger Lickin' Good, he is best known for his Blue Note albums including Think and Live at the Club Mozambique. In 1969, he was named Top Organist in a Down Beat Magazine poll. Several legendary jazz artists have joined Smith on his albums including Lee Morgan, David 'Fathead' Newman, King Curtis, Blue Mitchell, and Joe Lovano, among others. His extraordinary range has allowed him to perform with rhythm and blues greats Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Etta James, Esther Phillips, the Impressions, and the Coasters. His most recent album, The Turbanator, was released in 2000.

 

Discography

Leader Title Date Label LP Issue CD Issue
Adams Johnny One Foot in the Blues 1996 Rounder 2144  
Baker Brad B. Baker Chocolate 1979 LRC 9325  
Beck Joe Back To Beck 1988 DMP   464
Benson George It's Uptown 1966 Columbia CS 9325 CK 52976
Benson George George Benson Cookbook 1966 Columbia CS 9413 CK 52977
Benson George Benson Burner 1967 CBS CG 33589  
Benson George Willow Weep For Me (Do You Like Jazz? series #19) 1973 Dutch CBS 63533  
Benson George Spiritual To Swing (Live) 19?? Columbia ?  
Chartbusters Chartbusters! 1995 NYC Records   6017 2
Chartbusters Mating Call! 1995 Prestige   11002-2
Compilations The Organ Giants 1965 Prestige 7778  
Compilations The Best of Jazz Organ ? LRC   CDC 9006
Cuber Ronnie Live At The Blue Note 1985 Pro Jazz   629
Donaldson Lou Alligator Bogaloo 4/17/67 Blue Note BST 84263 7 84263 2
Donaldson Lou Mr. Shing A' Ling 10/27/67 Blue Note BST 84271 7 84271 2
Donaldson Lou Midnight Creeper 3/15/68 Blue Note BST 84280  
Donaldson Lou Everything I Play Is Funky 1/9/70 Blue Note BST 84337 8 31248 2
Donaldson Lou Pretty Things 1/9/70 Blue Note BST 84359 7 89794 2
Donaldson Lou Play The Right Thing 12/20/90 Milestone   9190-2
Donaldson Lou Caracas 1993 Milestone   9217-2
Donaldson Lou Sentimental Journey 1995 Columbia   CK 66790
Essence All Stars Organic Grooves 1/15/96 Hip Bop / Silva Screen   HIBD 8010
Essence All Stars BongoBop 11/15/96 Hip Bop / Silva Screen   HIBD 8017
Gale Eric In A Jazz Tradition 1987 Emarcy   836 369-1
Hart Richie Remembering Wes 1988-89 Blue Flame   40222
Holloway Red Red Soul 1965 Prestige 7473  
Holloway Ron Struttin' 1995 Milestone   9238
Jazz Funk Masters w/ Dr. Lonnie Smith Live Jam! 5/12/92 P-Vine   2401
Jones Jesse Jr. Soul Serenade 1996 Contemporary   14082-2
Martin John Spider Live At The Breakers ? ? ?  
Mauro Turk Hittin' The Jug 1995 Milestone   9246
McGriff Jimmy State of the Art 1985 Milestone   9135
Mustafa Melton - Orchestra Boiling Point 1996 Contemporary   14075-2
Myers Terry Soul Mates 1996 Contemporary   14078-2
Nakumura Teruo Rising Sun 1976 Kitty MFK 1004  
Page Nathan The Other Page 1991 Hugo   HMS 111
Ponder Jimmy 'Fats' So Many Stars 1984 Milestone   9132
Ponder Jimmy 'Fats' To Reach A Dream 1988 Muse   5394
Ponder Jimmy Come On Down 9/27/90 Muse   5375
Secret Agent Men w/ Dr. Lonnie Smith Secret Agent Men 1992 Paddle Wheel   KICJ 135
Smith Lonnie Finger Lickin' Good 1967 Columbia CS 9496  
Smith Lonnie Think! 7/23/68 Blue Note BST 84290 7 84290 2
Smith Lonnie Turning Point 1969 Blue Note BST 84313  
Smith Lonnie Move Your Hand 8/9/69 Blue Note BST 84326 8 31249 2 3
Smith Lonnie Drives 1/2/70 Blue Note BST 84351 8 28266 2 0
Smith Lonnie Live At Club Mozambique 5/21/70 Blue Note   8 31880 2 4
Smith Lonnie Mama Wailer 1971 Kudu 02  
Smith Lonnie Flavors 6/15/77 Musidisc   ?
Smith Lonnie Afrodesia 6/15/77 Groove Merchant GM 3308  
Smith Lonnie Afrodesia (& When the Night is Right) 1977 LRC   CDC 9079
Smith Lonnie Keep on Loving 1977 Groove Merchant GM 3312  
Smith Lonnie Funk Reaction 1977 LRC LRC 9317  
Smith Lonnie Gotcha 1978 LRC LRC 9323  
Smith Lonnie When the Night is Right 1979 Chirouscuio CR 2019  
Smith Lonnie Lonnie Smith (Gotcha / Funk Reaction) 1991 LRC   CDC 9032
Smith Lonnie Afro Blue 6/17/93 Venus   TKCV-79022
Smith Lonnie Purple Haze - Hendrix Tribute 3/20/94 Venus   TKCV-79055
Smith Lonnie Foxy Lady - Hendrix Tribute 3/19/94 Venus   TKCV-79053
Smith Lonnie Lonnie Smith-George Benson 19?? Europa Jazz EJ 1025  
Smith Lonnie with Alvin Queen Lenox & Seventh Avenue 1985 Black & Blue BB 33178  
Various Shades Of Red 12/3/94 Somethin' Else   TOCJ-5578