Monday, 16 August 2010


Influenced, as were most of his generation, by Charlie Parker, Lou Donaldson started playing bebop, but digressed from the bebop movement and really made a mark for himself with a string of hits for the Blue Note label that showed off his real bluesy/funky sound.
Always a little tongue in cheek there is a real sense of fun in his playing.
Saw him live a few years ago and even then, when he was approaching 80, he played with the enthusiasm of a man a quarter of that age. His live performance was liberally sprinkled with humour and showmanship but managed to steer clear of overstepping the mark and ending up in vaudeville territory (with the possible exception of his vocal rendition of "Whisky Drinkin' Woman").
This album is one of his later offerings (from 92) and has a reworking of the theme from one of his most famous Blue Note albums "Blues Walk" - here reworked as "Walkin' Again".
Old Blue Note stablemate Kenny Dorham also gets a nod with a cover of his "Blue Bossa".
While Donaldson's made his own mark with the alto sax and moved on from those bebop days, when everyone wanted to sound like Parker, the uptempo "Birdseed" offers a sense of tribute and aknowledgement of where it all started.
I think this is pretty much the quintet line up I saw Lou with, though sadly without Dr Lonnie Smith on Organ (here the organ is by David Braham).
A lovely, sunny, happy wee album - made all the better for finding it for £1.99 in a charity shop.

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