Search - Lou Donaldson :: Blues Walk

Blues Walk
Lou Donaldson
Blues Walk
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Lou Donaldson's undisputed masterpiece, Blues Walk, marks the point where the altoist began to decisively modify his heavy Charlie Parker influence and add a smoky, bluesy flavor of his own. The material is still firmly in...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lou Donaldson
Title: Blues Walk
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077774652520


Album Description
Lou Donaldson's undisputed masterpiece, Blues Walk, marks the point where the altoist began to decisively modify his heavy Charlie Parker influence and add a smoky, bluesy flavor of his own. The material is still firmly in the bebop style, and the mellower moments aren't as sleepy as some of Donaldson's subsequent work, so the album sounds vital and distinctive even as it slows down and loosens things up. What elevates Blues Walk to classic status is its inviting warmth. Donaldson's sweetly singing horn is melodic throughout the six selections, making even his most advanced ideas sound utterly good-natured and accessible. The easy-swinging title cut is arguably Donaldson's signature tune even above his late-'60s soul-jazz hits, and his other two originals - "Play Ray" and "Callin' All Cats" - are in largely the same vein. Elsewhere, Donaldson displays opposite extremes of his sound; the up-tempo bebop classic "Move" provokes his fieriest playing on the record, and his romantic version of "Autumn Nocturne" is simply lovely, a precursor to Lush Life. The addition of Ray Barretto on conga is a subtle masterstroke, adding just a bit more rhythmic heft to the relaxed swing. There are numerous likable records in Donaldson's extensive catalog, but Blues Walk is the best of them all.

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CD Reviews

Alone on a Street Of Blue Notes
Dennis Stiff | Sacramento, Ca United States | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lou Donaldson made his mark with this one...probably his best, then again this was 1958 and he had many more albums to cut. He was young and inventive and he made his own tune "Blues Walk" a classic. Take this and then jump to the second cut "Move" another legitimate bop standard up there with anything written by fact the entire CD is up there with anything ever written......and why I don't see it on anyones Jazz To Have Lists can only be explained by pure oversight or lack of record company hype (support)...I know, a lot of great Jazz came out of the 1950's but this one is a definitive stand out. I write about music but never recommend anything...but...forget about Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins for a minute and get this catches every mood and rises to the top of all the Blue Note releases... you just can't put it down."
Blues Walk: A First-Rate Lou Donaldson Group
James Armstrong | San Jose, CA USA | 04/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although Lou is wonderfully facile in this Blue Note session from the late 1950s, it's Herman Foster, the great pianist, who steals the show, with convincing evidence that a complex harmonic instrument need not be treated as another variant on the Horace Silver/Bud Powell single-note theme. Foster's highly sophisticated two-handed harmonies in "Play Ray", a medium tempo blues for Barretto, are worthy of transcription. This is a virtuoso pianist with an aggressive, percussive approach which is atypical of Blue Note recordings of the era. The intensity of Foster's attack in Denzil Best's "Move" is phenomenal. Check it out."
Classy Congo Blues
Scott Williams | Oakland, CA United States | 04/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blues walk is a classic 50's hard bob/bebop recording. What sets the album apart from other albums of the same era is the subtle congo playing of Ray Barretto. While it may seem commonplace today to throw an extra percussionist in to spice things up, this was one of the first "straight ahead" bebop recordings that incorporated a congo player into an album that was not a "latin jazz" album. Further the playing of Barretto was not overwhelming, which was the key to the success of the album. The overall effect was fantastic. There is great interplay between the band, Barretto and Donaldson. Most critics would rate this as Donaldson's best overall album and I agree. He's just starting to leave a straight ahead "charlie parker" style of playing for a more soul inspired style of playing. While I enjoy his later albums as well, I think it is this "crossroads" album that is his most unique and beautiful recording."