He’s been known to play electric pianos, but has given most of his attention to the acoustic variety.
As a radio presenter, he hosted Legends of Jazz, which eventually became a 13-part television series.
Afflicted with Crohn’s disease, touring was out of the question, so young Nicky was left to ply his trade as a hired gun, playing on records by The Who, Jeff Beck, Badfinger, The Beatles, Neil Young, Nilsson, David Bowie, Rod Stewart... Perhaps his most successful stint came as the regular pianist for The Rolling Stones.
He worked on every one of their studio albums from Between the Buttons through to Black and Blue, and was usually called upon for the ballads. Jones (that’s his full name - the T doesn’t actually stand for anything) was a child prodigy.
Smith then signed on with Miles Davis, who insisted that he learned to play the organ.
Only after these sessions did Lonnie form his own outfit, Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes.
The single is a classic instrumental with its incessant, driving Hammond M3 riff.
Smith’s music has recently been rediscovered by a new generation of musicians who have name-checked The Cosmic Echoes records.
They sit at the back of the stage, skilfully going about their business while the posturing and preening plays out in front of them.
But now it’s time for the very best keyboardists in popular music history to step out from the shadows and take their turn in the Music Radar spotlight.
He played piano, sax, oboe, trumpet and trombone as a youth and was the organist at his church.
At age 16, he played sax on Cause I Love You, a hit single for Satellite Records. Jones would find himself as a session player with Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn and Steve ‘The Colonel’ Cropper, with whom he would cut the track Green Onions and the album of the same name.
His band, Ultravox, helped to define the sound of what would eventually be called new wave. main man John Foxx left for pastures new, only to re-appear with Ultravox (sans exclamation mark) when they reformed with Midge Ure on vocals.