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Lou Donaldson : Lou Takes Off


Lou picked up the alto when he was inducted into the Navy in 1945 and, after his discharge, jobbed around Greensboro, North Carolina with local groups, before coming north where he underwent an extensive orientation.

Altoist Lou Donaldson, who tends to get lost in the Blue Note all-star shuffle (even after making over 20 LPs for the label) is in his prime with this jam.

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SKU: Blue Note BN 1591 [3] Categories: , , , Tags: , , ,


The influence of Charlie Parker can be heard in virtually every modern jazz musician, particularly players of the alto saxophone. Although considered to be one of “Bird’s children,” Lou Donaldson absorbed and synthesized other pre-Parker influences, such as Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter. This recording marks a period in his development prior to a stylistic shift away from bop and toward a stronger rhythm and blues emphasis. Three up-tempo tunes are pure bebop; the remaining number is a medium blues in B flat, quite characteristic of the hard bop period. The front line on this set includes Donald Byrd and Curtis Fuller; the rhythm section is Sonny Clark, George Joyner, and Art Taylor. Overall, Lou Takes Off breaks no new musical ground, but it is a solid, swinging session of high-caliber playing. [An edition remastered by Rudy Van Gelder was issued in 2008.] (AllMusic Review by Lee Bloom).


1. Sputnik
2. Dewey Square
1. Strollin’ In
2. Groovin’ High


Additional information

Weight 0.550 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm