Audio Mixers: Alan Varner; Lonnie Liston Smith.
Liner Note Authors: Dean Rudland; Lonnie Liston Smith.
Recording information: Medla Sound, NYC.
Photographer: Nick Sangiamo.
Reflections of a Golden Dream is the last LP Lonnie Liston Smith cut for Flying Dutchman and it's hard not to see the record as an aural manifestation of the label's shifting fortunes. As the jazz marketplace shifted during the '70s, the label had its financial hand forced and they needed to abandon their esoteric ways for something that was a bit more commercial. Of all their artists, Smith was the best positioned to do this because he already struck upon a blend of the spiritual and funk with 1975's Expansions. Released a year later, Reflections of a Golden Dream tips the scales a bit closer to funk, opening up with a Sly Stone workout called "Get Down Everybody (It's Time for World Peace)," a cut where Lonnie takes a rare vocal lead. After this, Reflections starts to seem as meditative as its title, achieving a kind of elegant spiritual suspension while also feeling as fleet and slick as satin. The only other time Smith returns to flat-out funk is on "Beautiful Woman," a late-night groove that kicks off side two, and while the rest of the record contains many period accouterments -- sustained strings, electric pianos, deep echoes -- the essence of the record is indeed meditative. Perhaps these are polyester paisley dreams but that doesn't make them any less real or affecting. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine