A great lost chapter in the career of organist Lonnie Smith — a session recorded in the 80s, but done with the simple straightforward soul jazz groove of earlier sides on Muse and Prestige ! Lonnie's working here in a loose and free trio format — with Melvin Sparks on guitar and the great Alvin Queen on drums — rolling out over longish tracks in an open-ended style that almost recalls more of the feel of Don Patterson's great organ trio sides than it does the heavier funk of Smith's early years. The recording quality is great — very faithful to the best tones of the Hammond.
In a new installment of her Black in America series, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien uses graphic videos and incisive interviews to show how the lives of young men are fractured by aggressive policing. Her documentary film, BLACK & BLUE, takes us into the lives of men frisked without cause as many as 100 times, and the police officers who insist they're just fighting crime. Between 2002 through mid-2013, the New York Police Department (NYPD) reported making more than 5 million stops. More than 80 percent of those stopped were African American or Latino, and 88 percent of the stops did not result in arrests, summons, or evidence of any crime, O’Brien reports with her co-directors Ross Tuttle and Steve Maing.
Although there are few actual blues on Black and Blue, pianist Gene Harris gives all of the songs (whether complex standards, ballads or near-blues) a bluesy feel, adding soul and a church feeling to each of the melodies. With the assistance of guitarist Ron Eschete, bassist Luther Hughes and drummer Harold Jones, Harris is in typically fine form. ~ AllMusic