Lou Donaldson – “Blues Walk”

5-12-11

Lou Donaldson – “Blues Walk”

I did not come to jazz really until the 1970’s; that’s when I first heard many classic LP’s on Blue Note – some as “only in Japan” re-releases.  Hard to believe, but Capitol USA (who owned Blue Note at that time) did not choose to keep everything on Blue Note in print, in the decade before the popularity of the compact disc.

Along with lots of Horace Silver, Hank Mobley and Art Blakey records, King Records in Japan had the license Blue Note – at the end of the 70’s, beginning of the 80’s.  They made really solid pressings of these classic LP’s, and they did their best to replicate every detail of the original release.

In 2011, we can experience delightful audio via the SA-CD format – with some emphasis being placed upon the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) aspect of the mastering.  Lou Donaldson “Blues Walk” may have been recorded and first released in stereo in 1958 – and with the 2010 SA-CD of it, we now have a pretty good idea what’s on the master tape.

Six hard bop classics, accurately / carefully recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in 1958, lovingly rendered via DSD mastering in the SA-CD format.  “Callin’ All Cats” is my favorite cut found here, just swingin’!

Lou Donaldson is still alive as of this writing!  The band on “Blues Walk” is Donaldson (alto sax), Herman Foster (piano), ‘Peck’ Morrison (bass), Dave Bailey (drums) and Ray Barretto (conga) – I confess that the most familiar name to me here is Ray Barretto!

I’ve also got a nifty “Best of” CD by Lou Donaldson, called “Best Of – The Righteous Reed”, an 11 track British collection.

A year or two ago, a new pizza place opened near Dorothy’s place – Two Boots.  When we went down there to see how their pizza was, I noticed that they had some Lou Donaldson on the jukebox. Wow, these cats aren’t from around here, are they?

Maybe I just especially like the sound of 1958 stereo; the sound of 1958 hard bop; the sound of a classic Blue Note ‘date’…my favorite hard bop title is without doubt Sonny Clark “Cool Struttin’” (the CD edition, with 6 tracks, instead of 4) – another 1958 Blue Note classic.

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One Response to Lou Donaldson – “Blues Walk”

  1. And the band — Donaldson Smith trumpeter Blue Mitchell guitarist George Benson and drummer Leo Morris — strikes the right note turning in a fluid friendly collection of bluesy funk vamps. First time on CD for this classic 1969 Blue Note release which takes its title from Donaldsons fine take on the James Brown funker Say It Loud Im Black And Im Proud.

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