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Lou Takes Off

  out of 4 Music Review: Lou Takes Off

Artist: Lou Donaldson
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1957

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
No rating supplied

Lou Donaldson made several albums for Blue Note during different periods during career that began in the fifties. He is a disciple of Charlie Parker, and he immersed himself in pre-Parker influences such as Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter before he developed into the full-fledged leader that you will hear on "Lou Takes Off." This album was recorded in 1957 at the very height of jazz awareness in the U.S. Donald Byrd (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Sonny Clark (piano), George Joyner (bass), and Art Taylor (drums) are all part of Donaldson's spirited band that performs on this session.

There are four songs on this recording, yet it runs over thirty-three minutes. This is a good indication of the extent of the bop improvisation that transpires during this session.

Donaldson is a flawless leader. He provided smooth and groove filled alto saxophone for the other members of his group to envelope themselves in. He is a natural born bandleader, and he proves it time and again throughout this recording.

From the beginning of "Sputnik" to the last few notes of "Groovin' High," this CD really swings. You don't hear Donaldson's name mentioned in the same vein as a Davis or Coltrane, although his relevance is genuine, and his importance to jazz music is evident on this selective Blue Note release. The sounds project in a profound way in this DAD format, hence making the nuances of the music more apparent than ever before. It was an excellent jazz album to choose for this sparkling audiophile format.

1. Sputnik
2. Dewey Square
3. Srollin' In
4. Groovin' High



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