Dr. Lonnie Smith: Soul Jazz Legend Still Grooving

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Soul jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith talks on Soundcheck.

Since the release of his first album, Finger Lickin’ Good in 1966, Dr. Lonnie Smith has been a constant and familiar figure seated at -- and occasionally venturing beneath -- the Hammond B3 organ. The jazz organist got his start playing with artists like George Benson and Lou Donaldson, and became an integral part of the soul jazz and funk scene since the 1960s. In his now-45-year career, Smith has gone on to become a hero to jazz and jamband fans alike with his unparalleled touch on the keys, and funky compositions.

In 2012, the-now 70-year-old Smith launched his own recording and production company -- Pilgrimage Productions -- and released a fiery new live trio album, The Healer. In an interview with Soundcheck host John Schafer, Smith talks about the joys and challenges of playing an instrument that he refers to as the "425 pound beast."