Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary Orrin Keepnews. The 1974 release of this album on the Fantasy group's Milestone label created an instant impact and launched one of the most exciting and tempestuous vocalists of the decade. Flora Purim and her husband, the brilliant percussionist Airto Moreira, had been part of Chick Corea's "Return to Forever" band, and Airto had gained much attention with Miles Davis, but this record combined their Brazilian rhythms for the first time with the "fusion" jazz of players like George Duke and Stanley Clarke. The result was a high-energy music of enormous appeal.
Recorded on May 21, 1970, at Detroit's Club Mozambique, this was shelved and remained unreleased until it was retrieved for CD issue in 1995. It's odd that Blue Note decided to sit on it for so long, because it ranks as one of Lonnie's better sets. The band, featuring George Benson on guitar, is relaxed and funky without being in your face about it, and unlike much soul-jazz of the time, most of the material is original, Smith having penned six of the eight numbers. Although the riffs often owe a lot to James Brown, this is definitely at least as much jazz as soul, with Lonnie taking a rare vocal turn on "Peace of Mind."