Lou Donaldson

Possum Head

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Possum Head reunites Lou Donaldson with organ great Big John Patton, a component of virtually all of the altoist's strongest Argo label efforts -- time and time again, Patton's sublimely funky grooves effectively sand away Donaldson's wooden edges to create rolling melodic contours. Guitarist Ray Crawford, trumpeter Bill Hardman, drummer Bill Dixon, and the presumably pseudonymous percussionist Cleopas "Mopedido" Morris round out the session, which boasts a lighter, breezier approach than the earlier Signifyin'. Donaldson circles around the hard-driving soul-jazz sensibilities of his later records but never quite commits, instead favoring lyrical solos well-matched to standards like "Laura," "Bye Bye Blackbird," and "Secret Love." An engaging and underrated record.

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