Real Gone Music has reissued Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes' Astral Traveling and Cosmic Funk LPs in high-quality colored vinyl prints, unearthing the first two records from the pioneering fusion composer for the first time since the '70s. The original gatefold art and layout has also been preserved.
As seminal works for the era and influential records decades after, 1973's Astral Traveling and 1975's Cosmic Funk, which heads in a funkier direction, were first introduced by Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records.
Each album features an all-star lineup of visionaries from the era: Cecil McBee on bass, George Barron on saxophone, James Mtume and Sonny Morgan on percussion, David Lee, Jr. on drums, Badal Roy on tabla, Geeta Vashi on tamboura, and Joe Beck on guitar.
Each reissue has been run in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. Astral Traveling is pressed in a blue "eternity" edition, and Cosmic Funk is pressed in a gate edition.
Real Gone Music adds: "Smith and the Cosmic Echoes stretched the fusion aesthetic to embrace post-bop modal and spiritual jazz, funk, rock, pop, and even the smooth jazz, quiet storm, and crossover genres. And if those latter styles raise your traditionalist hackles, Smith imbued all of his records with integrity, vision, and his unique spacy sensibility; instead of playing it safe or commercial, he fearlessly paved a path for modern jazz musicians to follow (Kamasi Washington, for one, no doubt listened to these records at length)."