Throwback: Lonnie Liston Smith-Expansions

[youtube id=”T5R3_SbE7XQ”] Expansions is Lonnie Liston Smith’s signature album and single. In the ’60’s and ’70s, the keyboard player and composer honed his talent working with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Pharaoh Sanders, Joe Williams, Gary Bartz and Miles Davis. He emerged as a leader and started his solo recording career which hit a peak in 1975 with Expansions. The lead song is noted for its warm and relaxing bass line and a feeling of openness built upon Smith’s solo surrounded by Donald Smith’s carefree vocals. “Expansions” is fusion that loses no sight of Smith’s jazz training but incorporates R&B and funk into its overall composition. The mixing of musical styles allowed “Expansions” to be received far beyond a strict jazz audience. “Expansions” has been famously sampled by people like Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z and rotated by DJs worldwide. Detroit house artist Scott Grooves covered “Expansions” in the ’90s with Roy Ayers. Lonnie Liston Smith has recorded over 20 albums and he still tours and occasionally teaches music at workshops around the world.