It’s uncertain if Roy Ayers and Lonnie Liston Smith (not to be confused with Dr. Lonnie Smith) ever played together on any particular projects, but their vibe, energy, and sound is aligned with the same principals of peace, love, and oneness, as well as the hybrid Jazz/Funk groove. What Roy Ayers was to the vibes, Lonnie Liston was to the electric piano. The signature sound of the fender rhodes or the wurlitzer piano was one that Smith adopted, and can be heard in most of his 70’s recordings.
This particular groove is quintessential Lonnie, as it has the rhythm, soul, and sound that is consistent with many of his tracks, as well as a powerful uplifting message. It is also common to find vocals on many Lonnie Liston Smith tracks, which are provided by his brother Donald, who is an excellent singer with a distinct, signature sound. As another small connection to Roy Ayers, this song features Cecil Bridgewater on the trumpet, whose then-wife Dee Dee sang with Roy Ayers on multiple occasions. This version is featured on the album entitled Visions of a New World released in 1975.

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As the fusion Jazz world crept into the late 70’s and early 80’s, it was common to hear more of an uptempo, disco sound, which can be heard in this remade version of A Chance for Peace entitled Give Peace A Chance (Make Love Not War). While this version may not go over too well with jazz purists, it has many musical qualities which includes Smith’s ability to adapt to a current sound, while keeping the same positive message. The disco version also contains longer instrumental breaks, as well as female vocals. Although this is a far cry from traditional forms of Jazz, it still has a great groove that can be appreciated with today’s contemporary electronic sound. This version is featured on the album entitled Love is the Answer, recorded in 1980.

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As a footnote, the album art for Visions of a New World is a vertical bi-fold cover, which can be seen below.

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