An alto player originally deep-rooted in bop, who by the late fifties was beginning to shed his Charlie Parker influences and take a more bluesy/soul approach. Blues Walk, from a one-day session in July of '58 has attained unanimous five-star status with the title track itself becoming one of the leader's signature tunes. Surrounding himself not with the usual all-stars found on many Blue Note dates from this period,
Donaldson carefully chose his cohorts personally for their cohesiveness as a unit. Never one to engage frequently in wide-open "blowing sessions," the results are powerful yet melodic and in one case, "Autumn Nocturne," fairly romantic without causing full-blown diabetes. Pianist Herman Foster's intense pianistics almost steal the show while Peck Morrison's bass and the often-overlooked Dave Bailey's drumming augment to perfection. The addition of Ray Barretto's congas (a regular on many of Donaldson's sessions from this period) is tasteful and a nice touch without turning every song into a Latin re-write.