Dr. Lonnie Smith

Keep on Lovin'

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Lonnie Smith embraces fusion for Keep on Lovin', forsaking his signature Hammond B-3 for the Fender Rhodes. Although the record veers close to mainstream R&B by virtually any metric, drawing obvious inspiration from Stevie Wonder classics like Innervisions, it's a natural progression for Smith and a solid addition to his discography. Paired with arranger Brad Baker (of jazz-funk cult icons B. Baker Chocolate Co.), Smith even assumes vocal chores on a handful of tracks, furthering the Stevie comparisons. Purists will no doubt cry foul, but in truth the record's electric sheen isn't so far removed from his Blue Note heyday, and the energy and creativity of his playing demand respect regardless of context.

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