NEEDLE DROP #1
In an interview on the jacket of this album, Lonnie Liston Smith says that he underwent a personal crisis after some nasty dealings with a "big record company" (either RCA or Columbia). He then became a disciple of Sri Chinmoy — guru to John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana and many other musicians — went veggie, started meditating, became a new man. For all of that, little had changed in his music, which remains pleasant, gently funky and deeply into spiritual concerns but not in a heavy way. Again, Smith switches between acoustic and electric pianos, while brother Donald sweetly intones the serene lyrics or handles the flute, and Donald Hubbard offers ethereal soprano sax. Marcus Miller, the once and future Miles Davis collaborator, exerts some influence here by composing three of the eight tunes — none terribly memorable — and playing bass and keyboards.
The beauty of this album was the fact that it contained a rare gem that was given life by producer, E Ski of the group Original Flavor, as the backbone of the track Dead Presidents II by Jay-Z. Once again hip-hop breathes life into older music. Enjoy this rare gem.