Dr. Lonnie Smith

Boogaloo to Beck

In the 1960s heyday of Hammond-organ-based soul-jazz records, pop and rock numbers often turned up. But who’da thunk we’d ever see turban-clad Dr. Lonnie Smith committing a whole CD to the songs of Beck? “The New Pollution” and “Sexx Laws” seem tailor-made for the organ-combo treatment. Smith and longtime collaborator David “Fathead” Newman are right at home in the former, now a walking shuffle. And the harmonic richness of the latter—heavy with soulful seventh chords—lends itself to one of the disc’s best organ solos. Smith’s quartet, rounded out by guitarist, producer and arranger Doug Munro and drummer Lafrae Sci, renders “Loser” as a barely recognizable, meditative stretch-out that highlights the similarity between the chorus and the “na na na” finale of “Hey Jude.”