Dr. Lonnie Smith

Foxy Lady: A Tribute to Hendrix

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The resurrection of Lonnie Smith continues with this exciting mini-survey of the Jimi Hendrix legacy. This time, the material allows Smith's crackling, tightly knit collaborators, John Abercrombie and Marvin "Smitty" Smith, to run a bit wild -- indeed, Abercrombie's tone and attack takes on a Hendrix-like cast on the title track -- while Lonnie mostly remains in the same cool soul-jazz frame of mind, an excellent foil. The most ambitious track, "Castles Made of Sand," takes on a military rhythm before breaking out into Smitty's everywhere-at-once drum patterns, cooking at a fine boil through its 23 1/2-minute length before breaking into a suitably chaotic rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" toward the end. On the latter, Abercrombie has a ball pouring on the sarcasm, and Lonnie bounces around the organ. "Third Stone from the Sun" moves at a casual, loping pace before Abercrombie and Smitty go into their guitar- and drum-slinger modes. Finally, there is a bit of fantasy in Lonnie's "Jimi Meets Miles" -- a musical event that nearly happened -- with Abercrombie doing a laconic Hendrix impression over a propulsive rhythm that recalls Miles' Bitches Brew period. A companion disc, Purple Haze (recorded the next day), is also available.

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