Astral Traveling Lonnie Liston Smith


Spiritual Jazz
Flying Dutchman
Catalogue Id:

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, keyboard player Lonnie Liston Smith moved to New York in 1963 playing with the likes of Dakota Staton, Al Hibbler, Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln and Roland Kirk. He made his first recordings with Kirk and in 1968 entered into a mutually rewarding and instructive partnership with Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas. In 1971-2 he toured Europe with saxophonist Gato Barbieri appearing on his 1973 albums “Under Fire” and “Bolivia”. His growing reputation was also burnished by playing Fender Rhodes with Miles Davis electric band.

The second of these Barbieri LPs was released on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label. Thiele was quick to sign Smith and release Smith’s first album under his own name, “Astral Traveling”. Backed by his Cosmic Echoes band, Smith served up a beautiful spiritual and funky stew on tracks like ‘Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord’, ‘Rejuvenation’, ‘I Mani (Faith)’ and ‘In Search Of Truth’. 

Smith went on to record “Expansions” one of the greatest funky jazz albums of all time in 1975 but this debut really paved the way towards that musical milestone.

Ace are delighted to reissue “Astral Traveling” in a gatefold sleeve that like the original pressing with liner notes by legendary jazz critic Nat Hentoff.


Track listing


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