Personnel: Dr. Lonnie Smith (vocals, Hammond b-3 organ); Jo Lawry (vocals); Matt Balitsaris, Peter Bernstein (guitar); Donald Harrison (alto saxophone); Herlin Riley (drums); Pat Rustici, Natasha Zaikina, Doc (hand claps); James Shipp (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: A.T. Michael MacDonald.
Author: Ian Jackson.
Not to be confused with jazz-fusion keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, Dr. Lonnie Smith is an organist deeply steeped in the soul-jazz tradition who has been turning out tasty, funky music since the mid 1960s. Dr. Smith shows no sign of slowing up in the 21st century either, as 2009's RISE UP attests. With Smith's swirling B-3 leading the way, RISE UP cooks through nine tracks of fiery, groove-centric jams with plenty of chops on offer. Alongside covers of the Beatles' "Come Together" and the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams," Smith and company serve up a host of originals in the classic soul-jazz tradition.
Down Beat (p.69) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "It's a fine recording, from the opening track, 'A Matterapat,' to the closer, Voodoo Doll.' Everyone performs to perfection, and Smith and Harrison sound particularly inspired."
JazzTimes (p.80) - "[M]ostly it's 'And the World Weeps' that proves to be Smith's charmer, a pensive sad song whose stewing organ swirls find their own holy-rolling gospel."