When Lou Donaldson emerged in the early 1950s, virtually every young alto-saxophonist sounded like a close relative of Charlie Parker. While Bird would always be an influence on him, Donaldson (who is still playing very well these days at age 82) had his own approach to playing jazz, and he quickly became instantly recognizable as a more soulful and bluesy player, one who was nicknamed "Sweet Lou."
Donaldson could always play bebop with the best but he also loves to caress ballads and to really dig deep into the blues. Lou Takes Off from 1957 matches Donaldson with other young greats (including trumpeter Donald Byrd, trombonist Curtis Fuller and pianist Sonny Clark) for a pair of bop standards and two originals including the lowdown blues "Strolling In."
All of the musicians would have significant careers and it is fascinating to hear them at this early stage, particularly the already brilliant Lou Donaldson, who shows off his ability to infuse every note he played with the blues.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.See more Lou Donaldson records here