Lou Donaldson

Live in Bologna [Timeless]

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A direct (musical) descendant of Bird, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson has often been criticized for commercial concessions or for lack of imagination. Over a span of decades, his sound remained constant, rarely wavering from his initial bop conception. This set of standards is one of Donaldson's best recordings, in part due to the relaxed setting, but also because of the outstanding piano trio accompanying the saxophonist. Pianist Herman Foster is one of the underrated improvisers of the bop genre, and he, along with bassist Jeff Fuller and drummer Victor Jones, set a sophisticated, vibrant groove that meshes well with Donaldson's brand of straight-ahead blowing. While there is little to distinguish these interpretations of "Stella by Starlight" or "Summertime," the set as a whole has a joyous and even infectious exuberance that should provide an enjoyable, if light, listening experience.

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