LINEUP: Lou Donaldson (Saxophone), Randy Johnston (Guitar), Akiko Tsuruga (Hammond organ), and Fukushi Tainaka (Drums).
"My first impulse is always to describe Lou Donaldson as the greatest alto saxophonist in the world."
-Will Friedwald, New York Sun
''It’s in the world of bebop, really, that Donaldson is one of the remaining wonders of the world.'' Jeff Simon - Buffalo News
The legendary jazz master giant saxophonist/composer/stylist LOU DONALDSON has been one of the foremost and most unique "voices" in many genres of swinging modern jazz and a powerfully creative force in contemporary music for over six decades.
Lou Donaldson first made jazz history as the music director of the Blue Note All Stars Band who recorded at Birdland in 1954 in New York City with young trumpeter sensation Clifford Brown, pianist Horace Silver, and the driving drums of Art Blakey for the classic *A Night At Birdland, *one of the most important and influential hard bop classics on Blue Note Records on all time.
Lou Donaldson's incendiary alto saxophone playing on organist's Jimmy Smith innvovative Blue Note classic *"The Sermon" *helped usher in a whole era of organ-saxophone groove sound in the 1960s and 1970s, which helped for a time to make this genre of swinging, funky jazz close to being as popular as jazz has been during the swing era.
Born in Badin, North Carolina, in the American South, Lou Donaldson began playing clarinet at the age of 9, and by 15 he was enrolled at North Carolina A & T College in Greensborn, N.C., where he would later receive a B.S. Degree, Drafted into the US Navy in 1945, Lou became
a member of the U.S. Great Lakes Navy Band which provided Sweet Papa Lou the opportunity to play with the older masters such as Clark Terry, Ernie Wilkins, and Luther Henderson. At the behest of Illinois Jacquet, Lou eventually moved to New York City 1n 1950, and very shortly was generating international recognition through is work as a featured sideman on the Milt Jackson recording of "Bag's Groove."
Although profoundly and enduringly influenced by the genius of Charlie Parker in many artistic respects, Lou Donaldson very soon developed a truly unique sound and style of own, and was critically instrumental in bringing artists like Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Ray Barretto, Curtis Fuller and many other great young jazz artists into the mix of all the jazz hit records being made by Blues Records in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Alfred Lyons heard Lou Donaldson performing at Mintron's Playhouse in New York, and asked him to record for Blue Note shortly thereafter, from *A Night At Birdland * to *Alligator Boogaloo *to *Midnight Creeper * to *SnakeBone *to *Sweet Slumber *and *Good Gracious --*-Lou Donaldson has never failed to make our bodies and hearts dance at every stage of his amazing journey through joyously swinging song. --*Todd Barkan*
*LOU DONALDSON WAS NAMED TO THE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ*
*HALL OF FAME IN 1986*
*LOU DONALDSON WAS NAMED AN NEA JAZZ MASTER BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OF THE ARTS IN JANUARY 2013*