LOU DONALDSON

Hard Bop / Soul Jazz • United States
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Lou Donaldson (born 1926) is a jazz alto saxophonist. He was born in Badin, North Carolina. He is best known for his soulful, bluesy approach to the alto saxophone, although in his formative years he was, as many were of the bebop era, heavily influenced by Charlie Parker's improvisational approach.

His first recordings were with bop emissaries Milt Jackson and Thelonious Monk in 1952, and lead several small groups with other jazz luminaries such as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Horace Silver and the indomitable skinsman, Art Blakey.

In 1953, he also recorded sessions with the trumpet virtuoso Clifford Brown, and Philly Joe Jones, both who would go onto record some of the most renowned records of the jazz idiom. In 1954, briefly joined the emerging hard bop ensemble, the Jazz Messengers, and appeared on one of their most popular albums, A Night at Birdland.

Although he has recorded as a
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LOU DONALDSON Discography

LOU DONALDSON albums / top albums

LOU DONALDSON New Faces - New Sounds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Faces - New Sounds
Hard Bop 1952
LOU DONALDSON Lou Donaldson / Clifford Brown ‎: New Faces - New Sounds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Donaldson / Clifford Brown ‎: New Faces - New Sounds
Soul Jazz 1953
LOU DONALDSON Lou Donaldson Sextet Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Donaldson Sextet Volume 2
Hard Bop 1954
LOU DONALDSON Swing and Soul album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Swing and Soul
Hard Bop 1957
LOU DONALDSON Wailing With Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wailing With Lou
Hard Bop 1957
LOU DONALDSON Lou Takes Off album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Lou Takes Off
Hard Bop 1958
LOU DONALDSON Blues Walk album cover 4.55 | 3 ratings
Blues Walk
Hard Bop 1958
LOU DONALDSON Light Foot album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Light Foot
Hard Bop 1959
LOU DONALDSON The Time Is Right album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Time Is Right
Hard Bop 1959
LOU DONALDSON LD+3 album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
LD+3
Hard Bop 1959
LOU DONALDSON Sunny Side Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sunny Side Up
Hard Bop 1960
LOU DONALDSON Here 'Tis album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Here 'Tis
Hard Bop 1961
LOU DONALDSON Gravy Train album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
Gravy Train
Hard Bop 1961
LOU DONALDSON The Natural Soul album cover 4.29 | 5 ratings
The Natural Soul
Soul Jazz 1963
LOU DONALDSON Good Gracious! album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Good Gracious!
Hard Bop 1963
LOU DONALDSON Signifyin' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Signifyin'
Soul Jazz 1963
LOU DONALDSON Cole Slaw album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cole Slaw
Hard Bop 1964
LOU DONALDSON Possum Head album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Possum Head
Soul Jazz 1964
LOU DONALDSON Musty Rusty album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Musty Rusty
Hard Bop 1965
LOU DONALDSON Rough House Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rough House Blues
Hard Bop 1966
LOU DONALDSON Blowing In The Wind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blowing In The Wind
Hard Bop 1966
LOU DONALDSON Alligator Bogaloo album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Alligator Bogaloo
Soul Jazz 1967
LOU DONALDSON Mr. Shing-A-Ling album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Mr. Shing-A-Ling
Soul Jazz 1967
LOU DONALDSON Midnight Creeper album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Midnight Creeper
Soul Jazz 1968
LOU DONALDSON At His Best album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At His Best
Soul Jazz 1969
LOU DONALDSON Hot Dog album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Hot Dog
Soul Jazz 1969
LOU DONALDSON Say It Loud! album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Say It Loud!
Hard Bop 1969
LOU DONALDSON Pretty Things album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Pretty Things
Hard Bop 1970
LOU DONALDSON Everything I Play Is Funky album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Everything I Play Is Funky
Hard Bop 1970
LOU DONALDSON Cosmos album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Cosmos
Hard Bop 1971
LOU DONALDSON Sassy Soul Strut album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Sassy Soul Strut
Hard Bop 1973
LOU DONALDSON Sophisticated Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sophisticated Lou
Soul Jazz 1973
LOU DONALDSON Sweet Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet Lou
Soul Jazz 1974
LOU DONALDSON A Different Scene album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Different Scene
Soul Jazz 1976
LOU DONALDSON Color As A Way Of Life album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Color As A Way Of Life
Hard Bop 1977
LOU DONALDSON Poinciana album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Poinciana
Hard Bop 1979
LOU DONALDSON Sweet Slumber (aka Lush Life) album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Sweet Slumber (aka Lush Life)
Hard Bop 1980
LOU DONALDSON Midnight Sun album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Midnight Sun
Soul Jazz 1980
LOU DONALDSON Sweet Poppa Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet Poppa Lou
Hard Bop 1981
LOU DONALDSON Forgotten Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Man
Hard Bop 1981
LOU DONALDSON Back Street album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Back Street
Hard Bop 1982
LOU DONALDSON Play The Right Thing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Play The Right Thing
Hard Bop 1991
LOU DONALDSON Birdseed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Birdseed
Hard Bop 1992
LOU DONALDSON Caracas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Caracas
Hard Bop 1994
LOU DONALDSON Sentimental Journey album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sentimental Journey
Hard Bop 1995
LOU DONALDSON A Man With a Horn album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
A Man With a Horn
Hard Bop 1999

LOU DONALDSON EPs & splits

LOU DONALDSON live albums

LOU DONALDSON Live : Fried Buzzard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live : Fried Buzzard
Hard Bop 1970
LOU DONALDSON Lou Donaldson With The Red Garland Trio : Fine And Dandy Live In Digital Recording album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Donaldson With The Red Garland Trio : Fine And Dandy Live In Digital Recording
Hard Bop 1980
LOU DONALDSON Live In Bologna Vol. 1 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Live In Bologna Vol. 1
Soul Jazz 1986
LOU DONALDSON The Scorpion: Live At The Cadillac Club album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Scorpion: Live At The Cadillac Club
Hard Bop 1995
LOU DONALDSON Relaxing At Sea - Live On The QE2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Relaxing At Sea - Live On The QE2
Soul Jazz 2000

LOU DONALDSON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LOU DONALDSON re-issues & compilations

LOU DONALDSON Quartet / Quintet / Sextet (aka Down Home) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Quartet / Quintet / Sextet (aka Down Home)
Hard Bop 1957
LOU DONALDSON Ha' Mercy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ha' Mercy
Hard Bop 1971
LOU DONALDSON Blues #3 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues #3
Soul Jazz 1981
LOU DONALDSON Signifyin' (The Best Of Lou Donaldson) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Signifyin' (The Best Of Lou Donaldson)
Soul Jazz 1991
LOU DONALDSON The Righteous Reed! The Best of Poppa Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Righteous Reed! The Best of Poppa Lou
Hard Bop 1994
LOU DONALDSON The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 2
Hard Bop 1996
LOU DONALDSON Blue Breakbeats album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Breakbeats
Hard Bop 1998
LOU DONALDSON The Complete Blue Note Lou Donaldson Sessions 1957–60 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Blue Note Lou Donaldson Sessions 1957–60
Hard Bop 2002
LOU DONALDSON Complete 1952 Blue Note Studio Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Complete 1952 Blue Note Studio Sessions
Hard Bop 2004
LOU DONALDSON The Artist Selects album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Artist Selects
Hard Bop 2005
LOU DONALDSON Lou Donaldson & Grant Green Cool Blues 1961 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Donaldson & Grant Green Cool Blues 1961
Soul Jazz 2012

LOU DONALDSON singles (0)

LOU DONALDSON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LOU DONALDSON Reviews

LOU DONALDSON Blues Walk

Album · 1958 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matt
If there is any album by Lou Donaldson to get, this is the one. Recorded back in 1958 with the title track being just one of those great Jazz compositions being nothing fancy, just great Blues. This is the second album utilising the same band with the first album being "Swing and Soul" released the previous year in 1957. Lou Donaldson was not your man for boundary pushing as Lou was from the mold of Charlie Parker and has played that way ever since but one thing although Bop and all it's varieties were Lou's staples he played them beautifully and always kept things interesting with a certain class and technique that emanated from his alto saxophone. Not only that, Lou Donaldson wrote many a fine Jazz tune with the title "Blues Walk" perhaps being his best in these early years before many of his albums became predominately Hammond B3 based but here Lou and band play straight standard Bop with Herman Foster on piano for album number three and Lou with Herman would be on a few more to come as he would play with Lou mainly till 1965. "Peck Morrison" is on bass with Dave Bailey on drums who had been playing with Lou quite a while by now and Ray Barretto on congas who eventually would appear on five of Lou's albums with this one being his second. The original review with the album states that Ray prefers to play Jazz than work with Latin Bands and yes there is some truth in that but perhaps that was then in the late 1950's but when the sixties and seventies arrived the reverse was the case as we all know. Don't expect any boundary pushing as I mentioned above, just beautifully played Jazz in the Bop mould with superb solo's over one great swinging beat.

Lou Donaldson has written three of the six compositions including the title "Blues Walk" which is what gets this little treat of an album underway with Lou stating the theme first up with just the percussion assisting and when one hears the tune you will hear where Lou originally hailed from which was down South in Carolina with that slight Southern feel to the Blues that Lou has created with him taking the first solo and as throughout the entire piece, band included we never stray to far from the original theme which is always in the listeners grasp but the quality is maintaned by still having that fresh approach over one brisk timed walk. Herman Foster lays one great little piano solo down and listen not long after the begining where he adds the repitition and the groove just keeps coming where later in the tune Dave Bailey on drums trades with Ray on his congas for a lovely little percussion break. "Move" which follows does have the band on the move with this quick little up-tempo composition with Lou going all out Bird with his solo playing those smooth rapid changes that Charlie Parker was the master off but hey Lou does a very good job himself with Herman back for a great follow up on piano. Lou was very good at ballads and with all that Blues and Bop we already have heard, it is great album sequencing as well with examplary playing and not just from Lou but the entire band and in "The Masquerade Is Over" the saxophone just soars over this snappy timed ballad. "Ray's Tune" is another Lou Donalson composition and yes it is for Ray Barretto himself to come to the fore with trade offs from Lou's alto and later a great break with both drummer and percussionist on this delightful Blues number. "Autumn Nocturne" is the other ballad on the album and Lou really stretches out more so than the previous due to the slower time with beautiful sensitivity where one could compare Dexter Gordon's approach that he had with his tenor saxophone on ballads being just lilting and beautiful. "Callin' All Cats" is the last and written by Lou ,with Herman and Lou trading off at the intro to this sprite album finsher played with the usual outstanding solo's from Lou and Herman that are the major component of this classic Jazz album.

Although we do not have anything crashing through Jazz boundaries what we do have is great listening Jazz that is played at an extremely high standard. The congas that were added to many of these style of Blue Note albums that came out around this period in the late fifties albeit players, Ray Barretto, Alec Dorsey etc are more used to provide a Southern grit touch to the music and not played with a slamming Latin approach but just there to add a beautiful texture and diversity to the music. You have to have this album you know. Although different to these other Blue Note tunes like "Moanin', Song For My Father, Sidewinder, Cool Struttin', Idol Moments" it is one of those Blue Note classics that you will play over and over again.

LOU DONALDSON The Natural Soul

Album · 1963 · Soul Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
scott fetner
The Natural Soul Album released in 1962 from Blue Note Records is a standout in Soul/Jazz. Produced by Alfred Lion, with recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder and recorded at Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey on May 9th, this is a grooving album from start to finish. The record cover features Helen White, keeping with a style that was famous for Lou showcasing beautiful women of the era. The players responsible for pumping out this timeless groove album are Lou Donaldson on Alto Sax, Tommy Turrentine on Trumpet, Grant Green on Guitar, Big John Patton on Organ, and Ben Dixon on Drums. Donaldson originally from Badin, N.C. was heavily influenced by Charlie Parker and the Be-Bop era of jazz. He moved into Soul/Jazz and this album is a standout of the era.

Side one features "Funky Mama" as the intro track. The up-beat shuffle lead groove is a fantastic start to what is nine minutes worth of solid groove. Patton composed this tune, and the players brought it to life. Track 2 "Love Walked In" which is smoothly led by the pure genius of Donaldson's sax glides purely and effortlessly with hard organ notes commanding it. Track 3 is "Spaceman Twist" which jumps with the organ and sax once again. This tune will surely get your toes tapping, and your groove groovin, Grant Green comes alive with a solo in his signature style. Patton swings it to perfection with plenty of funky breaks at the end.

The album flips now to the "B" side, and Track 1 hits just as hard as the opening piece of the album. "Sow Belly Blues" is brought to pure life by Tommy. This is a very upbeat tune with brilliant horn work all around, it clocks in at over nine minutes as well. Track 2 "That is All" sees the album takes a break and the blues come in hard. The notes are delicately massaged and bended to perfection. It gives one the feeling of what it must have felt like to wander the streets of New York late at night in the late 50s, and early 60s. Finally Track 3 "Nice and Greasy" brings this masterpiece to a close. It is funk with a capitol F! The piece moves and grooves showcasing one more time this line-ups talent.

This classic belongs on any collector of Soul/Jazz's shelf. Keeping with Blue Note tradition, the works on this album are put together by some of the finest jazz musicians of the era.

LOU DONALDSON The Natural Soul

Album · 1963 · Soul Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matt
"Charlie Parker" was Lou's influence when he played alto saxophone. Early in his career he played with "Milt Jackson","Thelonious Monk" and "Art Blakey" in the early days of "The Jazz Messengers" but Blues and Funk quickly became his staple diet. Conga, drums, Hammond B3, guitar, all injected by Lou into his Jazz. "Lou Donaldson" many may say was not an innovator but he knew how to entertain with always swing, groove and funk into the mix and he was always looking for muscians with that style and grit. This is Lou's second hammond album for Blue Note as the previous year he recorded "Here Tis" with "Grant Green" who had been found by Lou playing in a bar in St Louis and playing exactly what Lou wanted to hear, blues and funk. Grant was to go on and make the most appearances of any artist on Blue Note and to be rated one of the best Jazz guitarists of all time. "Tommy Turrentine" is blowing the trumpet who actually is "Stanley Turrentine's" older brother who is another Blue Note stalwart but today it is just Tommy. "John Patton" or "Big John" putting the groove down on Hammond Organ and that is what it is with lashings of Funk throughout the album. On drums we have "Ben Dixon" maybe not the best techinical jazz drummer but boy does he know how to swing and put down those chitlin' beats which is precisely what this album required. Recorded in 1962 with "Alfred Lion" in the producers chair,who actually was not that fond of the result especially the opener "Funky Mama" because of the lack of jazz but you will find it is one absolute groover and the highlight of the album " The Natural Soul"

The opener written by "John Patton" is groove and funk from woe to go with, "Funky Mama" being its title and John Patton stating that from the first note played at the intro where Grant Green comes in on guitar with one great shuffle beat being put down as well by Ben Dixon on drums pumping that rythmn. I have heard many a Grant Green solo and what he does with this one on that guitar is right up amongst his tops but that groove does not let up with Tommy on trumpet, Lou on alto, Big John putting down groove on his turn and Grant returning with John to finish this one rythmn funk monster off. At the time it was not really the thing Alfred Lion was after but all of us sure were with a great composition to jump around to. "Love walked In" a "Gershwin" brothers tune starts off with the theme but is quickly turned to a hammond groove with Tommy playing trumpet first, Grant does another beautiful little solo and was he in top notch form for this session. Lou is laid back on his alto with quite a nice take. The pumping groove is back with "Spaceman Twist" which does have a bit more in it that "Funky Mamas' structure but John on that hammond keeps just pumping it out. Lou goes first on this one with a great solo and Tommy on trumpet is just as good but the show stealer comes in being Grant with that jazz guitar of his and some beautiful more of his quick groove picking. "Sow Belly Blues" is another glorious ten minutes of groove which just glides through with Lou and Tommy bringing up the intro and Lou is off first again. "Tommy Turrentine" on trumpet was a great addition as he provides contrast to the album with his Bop style which he keeps throughout and his solos kept a great balance with the tunes and keeps the album in the realm of jazz and not just a funk, blues excursion which is apparent with how he plays his solo with "Sow Belly Blues". Off course Grant gives us another beauty on guitar and what a time in the early sixties it was for him with guitar mastery over every album he practically appearered on. Two more to go with the original album with "Thats All" being the only ballad with Lou giving it the treatment on alto. The finisher sounds exactly the same as its name "Nice and Greasy" with more of that groove with Grant giving us yet another display with his guitar. There is a bonus track on the cd the "Rogers and Hammerstein" song "People Will Say We're in Love" and Lou keeps this one jazz but still groove is present with John on hammond.

Right time, right place especially with the muscians John Patton and Grant Green who I have always felt played their best early in their careers with this album showing why. Lou will not go down in Jazz history as a cutting edge pioneer but he knew a good beat when he heard one and these style albums would be his style from now on, being funk with lashings of Hammond groove but still a little jazz within. Lou was an entertainer and with "The Natural Soul" entertainment is what you get.

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