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RADIO

50th Anniversary Blue Notes for June

Read "50th Anniversary Blue Notes for June" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Blue Note 50th anniversaries from June 1970, just two though: Horace Silver (That Healin' Feelin') and Lou Donaldson (Pretty Things). There was also a Reuben Wilson session, but it was never released, and only the 'vault gods' know if it was any good. But you know there's more (don't you?). 21st century music from the Posi-Tone Swingtet, Poncho Sanchez, Akiko Tsuruga, Sebastien Amman's Color Wheel, Randy Brecker, Gregory Porter and Tony Dagradi. Also another R&B compare and contrast with Ruth ...

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 REVIEW

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 ...


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