Blue Note Records has announced a December 3 vinyl release of Breathe, the acclaimed new album by NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith. The 2-LP vinyl edition will contain the additional bonus track “Move Your Hand,” a third collaboration between the legendary Hammond B-3 organist and rock icon Iggy Pop which was is out today. You can check the song out below.
Pop is also featured on two other tracks on Breathe—covers of Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” and Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together.” The new album will be released on standard black vinyl and an exclusive color vinyl version will also be available on the Blue Note Store.
Iggy Pop names “Move Your Hand” as his favorite song of Smith’s. It originally appeared on the organist’s smoldering 1969 live album Move Your Hand, which Pop calls “funkier than James Brown.”
Produced by Was, Breathe is a dynamic set, six tracks of which were recorded during Smith’s 75th birthday celebration at the Jazz Standard in New York City in 2017. The live tracks capture the organist with his trio of guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake, as well as an expanded septet featuring John Ellis on tenor saxophone, Jason Marshall on baritone saxophone, Sean Jones on trumpet, and Robin Eubanks on trombone, plus guest vocalist Alicia Olatuja.
“Drenched in the blues, Smith’s playing heightens the excitement of whatever vibe he’s advancing, be it modern jazz, funk, swing, soul or pop-rock,” wrote DownBeat in their review of the album. “His forceful presence moves decisively through each piece.”
Breathe is a companion to Smith’s 2018 trio album All In My Mind, which was recorded during the same celebratory week at the Jazz Standard, and was given a vinyl release last year as part of the acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Series.
The 2016 album Evolution marked Smith’s Blue Note homecoming nearly 50 years after the organist made his first date for the label as a sideman on alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s 1967 classic Alligator Boogaloo. From 1968-1970 Smith recorded his own run of five soul jazz classics from his label debut Think! thru Live at Club Mozambique, both of which were reissued as part of the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series.
“Blue Note is like family,” Smith says. “It’s like I never left. Everybody is great to work with. They give me the opportunity to play my life, to tell my story.”