The "VISION" of Lonnie Liston Smith

    I believe that this particular album really brought Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes to the forefront of the "commercial " jazz scene in 1975. The infectious bass line and percussion interplay with the bongo and triangle still gets folks to groovin' here in 97'. Lonnie's brother Donald does his smooth vocals, Cecil McBee on bass, Lawrence Killian and Leopoldo on percussion along with Michael Carvin, Freddy Hubbard's brother David on reeds, and Art Gore's driving drumbeats, made EXPANSIONS a Jazz -fusion classic. How many of you remember this??

    · Expansions
    · Desert Nights
    · Summer Days
    · Voodoo Woman
    · Peace
    · Shadows
    · My Love

  • I remember it well (as you well know ....:) Is there such athing as a "hit album" ???

    I'm not sure but if there is such a thing then this was one. It was played in it's entirety at times at parties. It contained all of the elements that Funkateers were looking for in music at that time. The groove was kickin, thought provoking, sensual, "kozmic" and SLAMMIN all at the same time !!
    It seems to me that this album represents perhaps .........the high point for FUNK in the 70's because it really does combine all of the key elements wraped in a very "afrocentric" package......that was very popular.
    During the mid 70’s Lonnie Smith & The Comic Echoes made two albums that for Funkateers of that time period will always be regarded as "bookends".

    Pair this one up with the music of Gil Scot-Heron, Roy Ayres, Grover Washington Jr. and others from the same timeframe and this is about as close as jazz gets to reconnecting with a massive Black audience.

    Too bad things didn't continue in this vein I suppose the closest thing to this type of music that exists today would be the music of Digable Planets...what do you think ?

  • Visions Of A New World

    Lonnie Smith & The Comic Echoes - Visions of a New World

    1. A Chance For Peace - This is a great song……nice cool vibe……very danceable and was a big hit on many a dance floor. The song itself conveys a type of "kozmic hippie" philosophy, that now seems dated…..but is one that is probably needed much more today than it was back in the 70’s !

    2. Love Beams - ahhhhhhhhhhhhh this song is the BOMB, it’s got a ‘middle eastern" feel to it, that makes me think of dark rooms, lit by only a black fluorescent lamp. The room permeated with the odor of sweet incense & ………well you get the picture). This is easily one of the most erotic songs I’ve ever heard. It’s truly a masterpiece!

    3. Colors Of The Rainbow - More kozmic stuff…….perfect song to follow "Love Beams". The voice of Donald Smith evokes along with the sound effects evoke the feeling of making love in an clearing in an African rain forest.

    4. Devika - This song is "semi-famous" to hip hop fans because it was sampled wby Digable Planets in the song "Jimi’s Diggin Cats". Nice mellow cut, that follows along in a similar vein as "Love beams" and "Colors Of The Rainbow"

    5. Sunset - More erotic/hypnotic music that is best appreciated …."between the sheets".

    6. Visions Of A New World-(part 1) - Lonnie switches to acoustic piano for a solo, accompanied by Donald Smith in a kind of "kosmic chant" about ….."LOVE"….

    7. Visions Of A New World-(part 2) - for "part 2" Lonnie goes back to the electric piano & synthesizers for a mid tempo funky jam. Sounds like the sort of thing that today you might hear being produced by GRP records.

    8. Summer Nights - I like this song……back again to the "kozmic erotic", very sensuous song, and a perfect way to end a great album, that must be listened to ……."in the dark"


    Lonnie Smith & The Comic Echoes - Expansions

    1. Expansions - The monster dance floor hit that first exposed the genius of Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes to a massive pop audience. Jazz funk with a message….."Expand your mind to understand, we all must live in peace todaaaaaay…Extend your hand to help the plan of love to all mankind……."

    2. Desert Nights Cecil McBee starts out this song with a particularly NASTY solo on Bass…..and then we settle into a nice groove as the flute comes in to smooth things out. Unfortunatly the song goes no place and is really just "filler"

    3. Summer Days - uptempo….."latin flavored"…..very nice, kind of reminds me of Horace Silver and it’s FUNKY too. Reminds me of taking a car ride thru Texas.

    4. Voodoo Woman - very very FUNKY cut…….mid tempo jam that just won’t quit, nice "table setter". Today this music would be called "acid jazz"

    5. Peace - A song of peace & Donald smith & Cecil Mcbee have some nice interplay with each other as this melodic/hypnotic song tries to give us a message about just why we need a world of peace.

    6. Shadows - schock

    7. My Love - I’m sure that many will disagree, but this is the best song on the album. Very romantic and erotic. In some ways this song would have been more appropriate on Visions of a New World, it is in perfect harmony with the song "Love Beams"

    Some Musings On Lonnie

  • I’m a "cosmic funkateer "

  • Got favorites.....

    Give Peace a chance
    visions of the new world I and II

  • I loved this album and remember it well. It was one of those kind of albums that was almost "hypnotic". All of the songs ran together in such a way that the whole album at times just seemed to be one song. Remember "Expansions" ??
    "candles, black light & incense"

  • And Champale and Grenadine!!!!!!!!! Oh Yea Oh Yea

  • I haven't had any Champale (ghetto Champagne) years !!!
    …..writing this down

  • I’m telling my age and telling what she likes

  • My roommate in college was a big Lonnie Liston Smith fan so he got all the albums. now i wish i had bought then .Expansions was the jam. He was in Richmond a lot so i saw him a few times

  • What is Lonnie doing these day, do you know?
    ……Give Peace a Chance

  • Good question. wish i knew i sure would go see him if he was playing anywhere.

  • I've not heard any Smith yet. What are your fave LP's by him?

  • Expansions was the joint.........when that song came on everyone would jump up & start grooving !!
    (& some people think that ya can't dance to Jazz-Funk !!)

  • I use to stack those albums on my record player in my living room and make love as long as the music played.

  • Oh, yeah, and expand your understand...we all must live in peace,……!
    Hey I've seen some cds' under the name Lonnie Smith, do you think they have his old stuff
    on cd?

  • (I use to stack those albums on my record player in my living room and make love as long as the music played.)

    It never ceases to amaze me of the power that exists within the "kozmic" forces of the FUNK......
    So this is what you did while your music was playing ???
    I wonder if this is what Lonnie Liston Smith had in mind when he put out those two GREAT albums ??
    What do yall think ??

  • I’m is now looking franticly to see if I have any old Lonnie Liston Smith tapes that my wife might want to
    listen to !!

  • Smith was right up there with the LAWS BROTHERS AND HERBIE HANCOCK. All of whom you could dance to and do other things as cynthia well noted LOL

  • Of course you are correct........these albums that Lonnie Liston Smith put out were perfect for any type of "party" that one might want to plan.
    That's why they were so popular (right up there with Roy Ayres !!)

  • I’m feelin mighty kozmic these days !!

  • Just finished recording "Vision's of a New World" for a friend....I forgot how goodddddddd that album sounds.

  • Will you play LAWS BROTHERS, HERBIE HANCOCK or LONNIE LISTON SMITH for me baby??????HeHeHeHe...I know you love to make me laugh.
    Love You :)

  • Well as one of Roy Ayer's biggest know I was into Lonnie as well...(S) This is one of those.".havent heard it ina while..gotta find it and listen to it again lp's!!! "

  • As a result of this thread here on the board I was also forced to...
    ....pull it out ......& stick it in...
    ………………………. my CD player !!

  • Now you bad boy!!!!!!

  • What can I say.......this is a great album that sets a 'mood' for a number of differennt activities !!
    I’m---tempted to stick it back in again :)

    Yea Buddy!!!!!!!!!!

  • I was thinking perhaps in the D'Angelo mode. Even though he is into a Marvin Gaye- Stevie Wonder thang....I can see him leaning this way. Hmmmm......???

  • D'Angelo is pretty damn FUNKY, there is no doubt about that but....."Kozmic" not a label that I would apply to him at least to this point.

    I think Digable Planets are "Kozmic"

  • DP's are way Kozmic... If you're saying that Lonnie Liston Smith and the DP's are coming from the same musical galaxy, then I will definitely have to check out LLS. I've never heard his music before.

  • Check him out if you won't be disapointed !!

  • Which do you think is the better place to start: VISIONS OF A NEW WORLD or EXPANSIONS? I noticed that VISIONS dates from 1980--getting into the WINELIGHT and Spyro Gyra fuzak era
    there... I hope VISIONS is deeper than that. If Lonnie ever started getting into that "smooth jazz" sound, that's something I'd want to avoid.

  • I'd check those dates .......Both of those albums are from the mid 70's.... 74-75 timeframe and are eons away from the "SpyroGyricFuzak" that you & I both fear.....
    Check them will like them both !!

  • Thanks, Bob. Looks like the AMG book has an incorrect date for VISIONS.
    In case some others are curious to check out some Lonnie Liston Smith CDs, I've found that CD World on the web has several of his discs, including the two discussed here, for 8 bucks and change. (But can I squeeze even that much on my Visa??)