January 9, 2024

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Lonnie Jordan of WAR

Via Spin.com

Name  Lonnie Jordan

Best known for  The OG on Keys! An original founding member of the band WAR (“Low Rider,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “The Cisco Kid,” and more) and lucky enough to be supported for over 50 years by my rock ‘n roll hall of fans!

Current city  Los Angeles, CA

Really want to be in  I love Hawaii. It’s a place I can relax and reconnect with nature.

Excited about  I am excited to continue to be able to tour and perform for the fans. We just released a box set honoring the 50th Anniversary of Billboard-declared top-selling album of 1973, The World Is a Ghetto, and we also just released our very first Christmas song call “(Yes It’s) Christmas.”

My current music collection has a lot of  I listen to a lot of jazz [including] Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and Billie Holiday, to name a few.

And a little bit of  I also love film music from classic movies. The music composed has an amazing way of also telling the story the way the actors do. Just by listening you can get a sense of what is happening and moments of tension, love, fear – and I just love how those composers do that.

Preferred format  Any of them as long as I either have a good pair of headphones or a good set of speakers! As long as I can listen, I am happy!



5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:

1. The Sermon!, Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith is a huge influence [on] me and to this day I wish I could play like him! I tried to emulate his style at first and eventually was able to shape my playing based off of what I would hear him play.

2. The Ultimate Collection, Ray Charles

There is no singer quite like Ray Charles. When he sang you just felt his soul and spirit in every word. He sang from the heart and that is very inspiring to me as a musician – about being authentic and not holding back.

3. Live At The Apollo, James Brown

James Brown is one of my favorite artists of all time. Aside from being one of the funkiest and soulful musicians, I learned so much from him about how to perform on stage. I am such a fan of his that one time I risked it all to go see him perform. When I was 16/17, he was one of my heroes. He was in town [Los Angeles] at the 5-4 Ballroom [performing] “The James Brown Review” at the time. I hitchhiked my way to the show, which was already a no-no being from Compton, but just had to go see him. The show was great, but afterwards I had trouble finding my way back home so I spent the night at a hamburger stand close by. When I woke up, I was surrounded by cops who took me to jail. Apparently, the burger stand had been robbed and they thought I was a suspect. Fortunately, they figured out it was not me and I was released, but that is a very memorable experience of going to see my all-time favorite. Eventually he stopped by one of WAR’s tour stops in Cincinnati to say hello and I finally got to meet him. Unfortunately, the encounter was brief and I never got to tell him how I went to jail one time trying to see him, haha!

4. Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate, Bill Evans

Bill Evans is my favorite piano player and he had a very unique and influential style of playing that I hear not only in my own, but in many other piano players’ style. He also plays some of my all-time favorite songs, “My Foolish Heart” and “Waltz for Debby.”

5. Anything by the Fania All-Stars

For me, Latin Music doesn’t get any more authentic than that. And you can hear in my music the influence that these artists have had on me.

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