Show #245: January Music Mix

Dr. Lonnie Smith (Photo by Mark Sheldon)

I sometimes like to depart from thematic shows and just lay down a few eclectic tracks. So this week we’ll listen to some new albums and a couple of older ones that have stood the test of time.

We begin with organist Dr. Lonnie Smith (not to be confused with Lonnie Liston Smith), always looking bespoke with his turban and elegant vestments. The song “Alhambra” from his new album All in My Mind evokes Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ Sketches of Spain. It features a sizzling solo by guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg. By the way, I also recommend a Gene Ammons cover by Smith from a while back, “Jungle Soul” from his album of the same name.

Hollie Cook, daughter of the Sex Pistols’ drummer Paul Cook, has released a breezy new single called “Survive,” which we hear next. I have always loved Cook’s voice and songs, and featured her on a segment for PRI’s The World back in 2012.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles sings the title track from her new album Free of Form. Christian Scott’s trumpet on the track adds a nice touch to Charles’ most interesting and original voice. Charles is an accomplished singer who has worked with pianist Geri Allen plus other top jazz names. I also really like her version of the Miles Davis classic “Nardis,” from her second album Inner Dialogue. Check out the video below.

Nuyorican Carlos Henriquez holds the bass chair in Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and is in high demand in both the jazz and Latin music scenes in New York. We hear the track “Cuchifrito” (Puerto Rican term for popular street food) from his debut album as a leader. The album also features Latin titan Rubén Blades, Cuban drummer Pedrito Martinez, and great solos by trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and tenor player Felipe Lamoglia.


Colombia’s La Mambanegra (Black Mamba) follows next with a song “El Sabor de la Guayaba” that translates to “A Taste of Guava.” I love this funky Latin song with a terrific trumpet solo.

To close the show, we hear from a classic Count Basie album arranged by Oliver Nelson and featuring Hubert Laws as the star soloist on flute. Bob Thiele produced the album Afrique for his Flying Dutchman label back in the early 1970’s.

Check out Sarah Elizabeth Charles’s version of the Miles Davis classic “Nardis,” from her second album Inner Dialogue:


Rhythm Planet Playlist for 1/12/18

  1. Dr. Lonnie Smith / “Alhambra” /All In My Mind/ Blue Note
  2. Hollie Cook / “Survive” / Vessel of Love / Merge Records
  3. Sarah Elizabeth Charles / “Free Of Form” / Free Of Form / Ropeadope
  4. Carlos Henriquez / “Cuchifrito” / The Bronx Pyramid / Blue Engine
  5. La Mambanegra / “El Sabor de la Guayaba” / El Callegueso y Su Mala Mana / Movimientos
  6. Count Basie Orchestra / “Kilimanjaro” / Afrique / Flying Dutchman

(Hollie Cook photo c/o Ollie Grove)