Lush Life (Remastered) Lou Donaldson
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- 1Sweet Slumber05:55
- 2You've Changed04:22
- 3The Good Life04:52
- 5What Will I Tell My Heart04:24
- 6It Might As Well Be Spring05:57
- 7Sweet And Lovely06:04
Info for Lush Life (Remastered)
On this gorgeous album, one of Donaldson's favorites, his alto soars over an all-star octet by Duke Pearson on seven standards. Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and McCoy Tyner also contribute solos. This album was readied for release in 1967 when it was recorded, but subsequently shelved when Donaldson's ALLIGATOR BOGALOO album became a big hit.
"After brief sojourns at Argo and Cadet, Lou Donaldson marked his 1967 return by recording Lush Life, the grandest project he ever attempted. With its plush arrangements and unabashedly pretty melodies, Lush Life stands in stark contrast to everything else he cut in the '60s. There are no blues, no stabs at soul-jazz grooves, no hard bop -- only sweet, sensitive renditions of romantic standards. Donaldson shone on ballads before, but it's nevertheless surprising how successful he is on this set of slow love songs. His tone is full and elegant -- it's easy to get lost in his rich readings of these familiar melodies, as well as his slyly seductive improvisations. Of course, it helps that his instrumental backdrops are as lovely as those his nine-piece backing band provide. Nonets are unwieldy, to be certain, but Duke Pearson's arrangements are clean, sparkling, and attractive, and the superstar band -- Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax, flute), Pepper Adams (bari sax), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), McCoy Tyner (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Al Harewood (drums) -- knows enough to provide sympathetic support and not steal the show. When they do take solos, it enhances Donaldson's original statements, and helps make Lush Life the singularly enchanting record it is." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)
Lou Donaldson, alto saxophone
Freddie Hubbard, trumpet
Garnett Brown, trombone
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone, flute
Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone
Pepper Adams, baritone saxophone
McCoy Tyner, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Al Harewood, drums
Recorded January 20, 1967 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
Produced by Alfred Lion
Jazz critics agree that “Sweet Poppa Lou” Donaldson is one of the greatest alto saxophonists of all time. He began his career as a bandleader with Blue Note Records in 1952 and, already at age 25, he had found his sound, though it would continue to sweeten over the years -- earning him his famed nickname --“Sweet Poppa Lou.” He made a series of classic records for Blue Note in the 50’s, and takes pride in having showcased many musicians who made their first records as sidemen for him: Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Horace Parlan, and others. After also making some excellent recordings for Cadet and Argo Records in the early 60s, Lou’s return to Blue Note in 1967 was marked by one of his most famous recordings, Alligator Bogaloo. Lou was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by North Carolina A & T University and a scholarship was established in his name that is awarded to the most gifted jazz musician at North Carolina A & T University each year. He was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame and is the recipient of countless other honors and awards for his outstanding contributions to jazz, America’s “classical music.”
Lou was born in Badin, North Carolina on November 1, 1926 -- the second of 4 children born to father Andrew, a minister and graduate of Livingstone College, and mother, Lucy, graduate of Cheney University who was a teacher, music director and concert pianist who recognized Lou’s expert ear for music and introduced him to the clarinet. He matriculated to North Carolina A& T College at age 15 where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the marching band playing clarinet. After being drafted into the US Navy in 1945, Lou played in the Great Lakes Navy Band where, when playing for dances, he would also play the alto saxophone. After going into Chicago several times, he heard of Charlie Parker and, after checking him out, decided that this was the style of playing he would make his own. Lou moved to New York in 1950 or late 49 where he attended the Darrow Institute of Music and lived at 127th Street and 8th Avenue with his new wife, Maker, his longtime sweetheart from North Carolina who remained his wife and business partner for 56 years until her death in 2006. Together they raised two daughters, Lydia and Carol, and called the Bronx their home where Lou still resides and where he penned his signature tunes like Blues Walk that are still acclaimed classics today.
Today, at age 86, Lou continues to play at his very best, entertaining audiences worldwide with spirited performances that are always soulful, thoroughly swinging, and steeped in the blues. Lou’s hits on Blue Note Records are still high demand favorites and, today, he is the label’s oldest musician from that notable era of jazz. Source: www.loudonaldson.com
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