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Lonnie Liston Smith

Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (born December 28, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American jazz, soul, and funk musician.

Smith started out playing acoustic jazz before exploring jazz fusion, soul, and funk.

Smith played acoustic piano with Pharoah Sanders, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Betty Carter, and Gato Barbieri. He later joined Miles Davis as an electric keyboardist in the early 1970s.

In 1973 Smith founded the Cosmic Echoes band with his brother Donald Smith, a singer and piano player who has collaborated, among others, with Oliver Lake. Cosmic Echoes played a spiritual strand of jazz fusion which was mainly instrumental but did include some vocal numbers: one of these cuts ‘Space Princess’ became a hit. 

His tracks have been extensively sampled by a wide range of artists including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Chance The Rapper and Roni Size.