Monday 27 June 2011

Kineojazz presents Dr Lonnie Smith Trio featuring Jonathan Kreisberg and Jamire Williams, The Basement, 18th June

18th of June was a day to remember - for quite a few reasons.
  • Discovering we had been previewed by John Fordham in The Guardian Guide that morning and tickets were selling well
  • Arriving in the afternoon to discover that Dr Lonnie Smith's B3 had not been set up and setting up the B3 only to discover that it had no foot pedals and being told that we hadn't asked for pedals
  • Confirming with Dr Smith's agent in New York and drummer Jamire Williams that "Dr Smith needs pedals" (obviously!)
  • Ordering a Hammond C3 (with pedals) down from London at 4:00 in the afternoon for a 6:30 soundcheck
  • Discovering that we had been sent a piano stool instead of an an organ bench and Dr Smith patiently explaining the need for a bench (so his feet can hover above the pedals)
  • Dr Smith saying, "Don't worry, we'll find a way - we can make something!" And make it we did - the front of a drawer from an old chest of drawers, two high stools and a role of gaffer tape
  • Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg saying, "We need to talk about that bench you made. I seriously think Lonnie is going to kill himself."
  • The C3 arriving just before the doors were due to open
  • Drawing a line under all of the above and just enjoying the gig
And what a gig. When you hear Dr Smith play the organ you are hearing an extension of himself. It's a beautiful sound and he tells his own story - with drama and intensity. He can played very, very quietly and suddenly play so loudly that you almost fall off your seat. Jonathan played brilliantly, virtuosically even. He brings brightness and colour to the sound. On the other side of the stage drummer Jamire Williams brings energy and fire. The audience listened closely to everything, the band received a well-deserved standing ovation and left The Basement in a state of near bliss.

There are various videos around on Youtube. I won't link to them hear as they don't really do the night justice. However, here are some great photos from the official kineojazz photographer.

Click here for John Fordham's "proper" review of Dr Lonnie Smith Trio at Ronnie Scott's two nights later.

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