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Lou Donaldson Quartet


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Birthday Wishes to the
Ever Soulful Lou Donaldson

Alto sax man Lou Donaldson is captured during a 1994 performance of "Laura" in Geneva backed by Horace Parlan, piano; Wayne Dockery, string bass, and John Riley, drums.

Lou Donaldson is a jazz alto saxophonist born on November 1, 1926 in Badin, North Carolina. He is best known for his soulful, bluesy approach to playing the alto saxophone, although in his formative years he was, like many of the bebop era, heavily influenced by Charlie Parker.

His first recordings were with the Charlie Singleton Orchestra in 1950 and then with bop emissaries Milt Jackson and Thelonious Monk in 1952, and he participated in several small groups with other jazz luminaries such as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Horace Silver, and drummer Art Blakey.

In 1953, he also recorded sessions with the trumpet virtuoso Clifford Brown, and Philly Joe Jones. He was a member of Art Blakey's Quintet and appeared on some of their best regarded albums, including the two albums recorded at Birdland in February 1954 "Night at Birdland."

*Lou Donaldson was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on October 11, 2012.

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