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Lou Donaldson - The Time Is Right (1959)

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Lou Donaldson - The Time Is Right (1959)

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1. Lou’s Blues
2. Be My Love
3. Idaho
4. The Nearness Of You
5. Mack The Knife play
6. Crosstown Shuffle
7. Tangerine

Lou Donaldson (alto sax)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Horace Parlan (piano)
Laymon Jackson (bass)
Dave Bailey (drums)
Ray Barreto (conga)

Recorded October 31, 1959 by Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.


For the Jazz world, 1959 was a pivotal year, with the recording of "Kind of Blue", "Giants Steps" (recorded in May 1959), Mingus recording "Ah Um", the appearance of Ornette Coleman in NY, and recordings by Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra, that did not get wide attention but pointed in the direction of change. It was also in that year that Martin Luther King traveled to India to study Ghandi's legacy, and the year in which the TV documentary "The Hate That Hate Produced", about the Nation of Islam, brought Malcolm X into public awareness.

But for Lou Donaldson, 1959 was a time to present his developing style that came from Charlie Parker, and became more personal as time went by. A year earlier he recorded "Blues Walk" which showed him to be one of bluesier and smoother alto players around, and he stuck with this line of playing for the rest of his career.

This CD features Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Ray Barreto on congas, Horace Parlan on piano, Laymon Jackson on bass and Dave Bailey on drums. The group sounds relaxed and tight, with the conga sound adding to the groove. Blue Mitchell plays well as usual, and Horace Parlan , who was just leaving Mingus after two years, follows the the Horace Silver model without sounding the same.

The sound of the band is a more relaxed version of the Jazz Messengers (in which Donaldson played before), with Lou's bright alto leading the way. All his solos are good, showing the Parker influence without too many cliches, but for me his high point comes when playing "Mack The Knife", where his sound and lyricism are at their best. Blue Mitchell's solo on this tune is also full of energy and feeling. This is a very good choice for anyone interested in post bop, in good alto playing, and in music in general.

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 20 January 2015 22:45)


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