Lonnie Smith, jazz organ giant, RIP

The great Dr. Lonnie Smith who has been pushing the edges of jazz organ since the 1960s died yesterday at age 79. Smith recorded groundbreaking sessions for Columbia Records and Blue Note, eventually creating cross-genre collaborations with the likes of The Roots, Norah Jones, and, most recently, Iggy Pop. IFrom NPR:

Musically, Smith wove an other-worldly and soulful tapestry that joined relentlessly grooving bass lines with stirring melodies and harmonies. As a band leader and performer, Smith had a spirited and visceral performance style that allowed him to garner fans around the world.

Offstage, Smith was affable and engaging with a healthy sense of humor. At concerts, the turban and tunic clad organist would unassumingly stroll onto the stage with one of his signature canes and waste no time. Almost immediately, all four of Smith's limbs would begin dancing, almost magically, at the Hammond organ's console.