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Old Oct 29, 2010, 10:07 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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Jazz Feature for Nov.1:Lou Donaldson:"Alligator Bogaloo".

Moving into the month of November and specifically November 1st we are going to celebrate the birthday of one of the major links to the style of Charlie Parker and one of the living masters of the alto saxophone: LOU DONALDSON! "Sweet Papa" Lou as he is sometimes known was born on Nov. 1, 1926 in Badin, North Carolina. Today he'll be 84 and is still going strong, touring and recording. After service in the US Navy, he moved to New York in 1952 and it wasn't long before he had a recording contract with Blue Note Records and was performing and recording with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and a young trumpet star named Clifford Brown. He was part of the legendary Art Blakey Quintet (pre-Messengers) with Brown, Horace Silver, Curly Russell and Blakey that recorded some of the best live Jazz of the time in February 1954 at Birdland and released in 2 volumes by Blue Note ("A Night at Birdland"-Volumes 1&2). After that period Lou basically led his own groups and continued to make fine music in the style of Charlie Parker. Later he began recording with the Hammond organ after making some sideman dates with Jimmy Smith. By this time Lou had stripped down the Charlie Parker concept and simplified and honed it down to essentials much like pianist Horace Silver did with Bud Powell's piano concept. Lou's recordings with organ based bands became his norm and were always good sellers for Blue Note and despite being knocked and dismissed by the critics as a sell-out and lightweight, Lou worked steadily and remained popular. He always maintained that it was his responsibility as a musican to play to the people in the audience and give them a polished and swinging performance and entertain. Lou maintains that philosophy today and his performances are swinging and communicative and free of any self-indulgent experimentation. As he says "that shit is a sure way to lose your audience". Don't come to Lou looking for the esoteric....what you'll get is performance of tried and true standards, blues, ballads and some good funky Jazz...that's Lou!

Tonight's Feature is an album that has been sampled by many hip-hop and rap artists and has actually sold more discs today than when it was first released in 1967. The album is called "Alligator Bogaloo" and has Lou leading guitarist George Benson, New Orleans trumpeter Melvin Lastie Sr., and (Dr.) Lonnie Smith on Hammond organ and drummer Idris Muhammad (aka Leo Morris). It's soulful, bluesy and funky and very accessible and fun to listen to. Three tunes are by Lou, including the title track, one by vibist Freddie McCoy and one by Lonnie Smith plus a soulful ballad called "I Want a Little Girl". This album reflects Lou's musical philosophy that "it's got to swing, be fun and most of all not leave you scratching your head trying to figure out what the band is doin'!" Happy 84th Lou....keep doing what you do!

The Lou Donaldson Feature will be on shortly after 11pm but I'll be also playing more music by vocalist Chris Bennett and opening the show with a legendary Count Basie jam from 1953 with Getz, Wardell Gray, Buddy DeFranco, Buddy Rich and others. We start at 9pm....see you then............
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