Organist Lonnie Smith got his start in the music business in 1965, playing in George Benson's first group. In '67, he joined Lou Donaldson's band, where he had a hand in the recording of numerous acid-jazz classics (such as "Alligator Boogaloo" and "Peepin"). Donaldson got him hooked up with Blue Note, and he recorded 4 albums of soulful funk with the label in the late 60's. When Smith left Blue Note, Creed Taylor brought him into the studio to record "Mama Wailer." Smith added the term "Doctor" to his name later as he considered himself the "doctor of groove," and it has been said that this album was his doctoral thesis. The record is a funk classic. It features an all star lineup, including Billy Cobham, Ron Carter and Grover Washington, Jr., and four extended cuts (two originals and two covers). Highlights include the title track, a cover of Carol King's "I Feel The Earth Move" (King's "Tapestry" album was being covered by EVERYONE in '71), and a full-side version of Sly Stone's "Stand." Smith all but disappeared as a leader after this album, but experienced a revival of interest in his work in the early 90's when the acid jazz movement broke.
Album info. on Discogs:
Available on Japanese Import CD from Amazon:
(amazon.com) Mama Wailer
(amazon.ca) Mama Wailer
(amazon.co.uk) Mama Wailer