Articles | Popular | Future

RADIO

Blue Note 50th Anniversaries: November 1968 & More

Read "Blue Note 50th Anniversaries: November 1968 & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Blue Note sessions recorded in November, 1968 from Lou Donaldson (with Charles Earland, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy Ponder and Idris Muhammad), Bobby Hutcherson (with Stanley Cowell and Harold Land) and McCoy Tyner. Bien sur, there's more, including 78 rpm recordings of The Port Of Harlem Jazz Men from 1939--the first ensemble recorded by Alfred Lion--on Blue Note number 3, and even a track from some of the first material listed in the Erroll ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967

Read "The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967" reviewed by Marc Davis

I'm not a huge fan of Best Of albums. Artists make albums of music--some with themes, some without--and you go with it. One album generally equals one mood, so why mix them up? But then... Lou Donaldson is an alto saxophonist who spent virtually his entire career at one label: Blue Note. Bigger names have recorded on Blue Note--Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins--but none so extensively, from the 1950s to '70s. Trouble is, ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lou Donaldson: Blues Walk – 1958

Read "Lou Donaldson: Blues Walk – 1958" reviewed by Marc Davis

There's a tendency among some jazz purists to poo-poo Lou Donaldson. Not flashy enough, they say. Not groundbreaking. Too bluesy, too simple. Predictable. Derivative. A notch below the best Blue Note saxmen. A craftsman, not an artist. Aw phooey! I like Lou Donaldson and I don't mind anyone knowing. It has always been a mystery to me why certain jazz artists get tagged as simplistic and not quite jazzy enough. Dave Brubeck got that a lot. ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lou Donaldson: Alligator Bogaloo – Blue Note 4263

Read "Lou Donaldson: Alligator Bogaloo – Blue Note 4263" reviewed by Marc Davis

Alligator Bogaloo is very much a product of its time--1967--and it is extremely groovy. Start with the cover. A woman with crazy eye makeup wears a nutty hijab-like getup and is waving her arms like an early-day Bangle walking like an Egyptian. Tres psychedelic. Well, no surprise there. It's April 1967. The Summer of Love is about to begin. In two months, Sly and the Family Stone will burst into the public's consciousness and create modern ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Lou Donaldson: Jazz Paths

Read "Lou Donaldson: Jazz Paths" reviewed by Josep Pedro

One of the few remaining musicians that defined the sound of jazz after the bebop musical revolution, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson illustrates the richness and ambiguities of jazz evolution during the crucial period between the late forties and early seventies. During these intense and fascinating times of contemporary United States history, jazz exploded into a variety of paths that ran parallel with different environments, artistic, social and political concerns. In coexistence with the upcoming Black Power movement ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lou Donaldson: Lou Takes Off

Read "Lou Takes Off" reviewed by Andrew Velez

A cadre of young musicians, each who would, in time, evolve into a master, is caught as they begin to shine early on for this fireball 1957 set. A thinly disguised take on Cole Porter's “What Is This Thing Called Love?" is the opening tune, altoist Lou Donaldson's “Sputnik." It launches matters at full throttle, with Donaldson unmistakably reflecting Charlie Parker's then still very fresh and vibrant influence. Joining the pulsating rhythms is a young Donald Byrd, whose ebullient trumpet ...

INTERVIEWS

Lou Donaldson: The Clifford Brown Connection and Beyond

Read "Lou Donaldson: The Clifford Brown Connection and Beyond" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Lou Donaldson is one of the all-time great alto saxophonists in the bebop tradition. He came up in New York in the 1950s, latched onto the style of Charlie Parker and his cohorts, and has been going strong ever since, with numerous recordings and a hefty schedule of concerts and club dates. He has fronted many groups and worked as a sideman in groups led by some of the greatest jazz musicians of the last half of the 20th century. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lou Donaldson: Here 'Tis

Read "Here 'Tis" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson is one of a slew of hornmen to emerge from the long shadow of Charlie Parker, one whose distinctive bluesy sensibility eventually became a leading voice in the soul jazz movement. Here 'Tis (recorded in 1961), Donaldson's 14th session as a leader for Blue Note, is a standout release in his catalogue, a high midpoint along a stylistic transition that began with 1958's Blues Walk and would crystallize with 1967's Alligator Bogaloo.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lou Donaldson: Lush Life

Read "Lush Life" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Lou Donaldson's Lush Life is the sort of mysterious lost session that inexplicably fell through the cracks from time to time at Blue Note Records during their wildly productive 1960s and the sort of collectable that used to make vinyl hawks salivate. This January 1967 session, unreleased until 1980 when it debuted in Japan under a different title (now getting the Rudy Van Gelder Edition treatment), seems to have gone against everything that was happening in jazz (and American culture) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lou Donaldson: Lush Life

Read "Lush Life" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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 ...

PROFILES

Lou Donaldson: Lou's Boogaloo

Read "Lou Donaldson: Lou's Boogaloo" reviewed by Rex  Butters

2007 already has alto saxophone legend Lou Donaldson in a New York state of mind. He began the year receiving honors at Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights in Jazz series at the Tribeca Peforming Arts Center, also stealing the show with his quartet. This month he checks into Birdland for a short stay with his quartet including old friend and fellow legend Dr. Lonnie Smith on B3. He'll be joining another Blue Note icon, Freddie Redd, for a performance of Redd's classic, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lou Donaldson Quartet at Birdland

Read "Lou Donaldson Quartet at Birdland" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Lou Donaldson QuartetBirdlandNew York, NY Saturday, February 3, 2007 Lou Donaldson, now eighty years old, and his group performed a wonderful straight-ahead set ("no fusion, no confusion ) before an adoring crowd. Birdland, being in the center of the theater district, can attract a lot of tourists, especially on the weekend. A performer must not only be able to play, but must also entertain and connect with the crowd. Donaldson does this easily, and ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.