OREANDA-NEWS. Jazz legend Lonnie Liston Smith has died after a long illness. He was 79 years old. This is reported by NPR. Virtuoso pianist and vocalist, who also played the organ, Lonnie Smith, also known as the Doctor (Dr. Lonnie Smith), died the day before at his home in Florida. As stated in the label with which he collaborated, the cause of death of the jazzman was one of the forms of lung disease — pulmonary fibrosis.

The media calls him one of the most unique keyboardists of the Hammond organ, an electromechanical instrument that emerged from the «golden» era of organ ensembles of the 1960s. Over the years, Smith has collaborated with such musicians as Roland Kirk, Gato Barbieri, Farou Sanders and many others. Smith's latest albums, «All In My Mind» and «Breathe», were released in 2018 and 2021 respectively and included studio collaborations with Iggy Pop.

Smith was born in 1942 in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. Since childhood, his mother taught him to music and he became interested in gospel, blues and jazz. Later he also performed in the genres of funk, soul and fusion.