All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

318

Lou Donaldson: Lush Life

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count


Artists sometimes step out of character and produce a work that's not in the style for which they have come to be associated. The results are often intriguing if not always successful, and are a testament to their versatility. Such is the case with altoist Lou Donaldson's Lush Life, reissued after being given the RVG treatment by Blue Note Records. Originally recorded in 1967 but not issued until 1980, Lush Life is a collection of ballads played by a six-horn front line and rhythm section.



The pieces are all standards arranged by pianist Duke Pearson. The group, a veritable who's who of jazz giants, is led by Donaldson who, at the time, was popular for his bluesy soul-jazz recordings with loose backing of an organ-based rhythm section. The music here is very tightly arranged, and although Donaldson takes the majority of solos there are others whose horns punctuate the beautiful music with their poignant notes.



Donaldson plays the ballads with the same extreme facility and creativity that he has displayed on his other hard-bop and soul-jazz recordings. There is, however, a certain monotony in the extreme similarity that the tracks bear to each other and, in the end, a few become indistinguishable from one another. This is not to say that the work in any way becomes of lesser quality as one continues to listen to the record, but only that the emphasis is on maintaining a certain mood rather than variety.



The reissue does not provide any alternate takes or previously unissued tracks, but it does provide enhanced and pristine sound quality. This is an enjoyable record that, although a tad monotonous, stands as proof that Donaldson is not a saxophonist who can be pigeonholed into one genre or another, but is a versatile and creative musician.


Track Listing: Sweet Slumber; You've Changed; The Good Life; Star Dust; What Will I Tell My Heart; It Might As Well Be Spring; Sweet And Lovely.

Personnel: Lou Donaldson: alto saxophone; Jerry Dodgion: flute, alto saxophone; Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone; Pepper Adams: baritone saxophone; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet; Garnett Brown: trombone; McCoy Tyner: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Al Harewood: drums.

Title: Lush Life | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Accelerator CD/LP/Track Review
Accelerator
by Doug Collette
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Looking Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Ahead
by Jim Olin
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Life Of Sensitive Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Life Of Sensitive Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Intention" CD/LP/Track Review Intention
by John Sharpe
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba" CD/LP/Track Review iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)" CD/LP/Track Review Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)
by John Kelman
Published: June 6, 2018