Lou Donaldson

Louis A. Donaldson ( born November 1, 1926 in Badin, North Carolina ) is an American jazz alto saxophonist, and composer.


Lou Donaldson began his musical career at the age of 15 years on the clarinet before switching to alto saxophone. After college, he was drafted into the Navy, where he played in a military band. Here he gained experience in interaction with other musicians. Upon completion of military service, he moved in 1952 to New York City, where he made ​​his debut at the famous jazz label Blue Note Records at the age of 25. From 1952 to 1963 he took for Blue Note Records three 10 '' and 12'' LP's thirteen on, inter alia, the Root Down organ legend Jimmy Smith. 1963 Lou Donaldson turned from Blue Note and went for four years to the Chicago record label, Cadet, where he produced six more albums. When in 1967 he returned again to Blue Note, he took there his most popular and commercially successful album to: Alligator Boogaloo. Further albums followed well into the mid-seventies that have been customized with funky overdubs to contemporary tastes. 1975 Donaldson left the label for good.

Musical work

Lou Donaldson has become famous for a very catchy and danceable jazz sound, in which the individual instruments to a happy grooving and then endlessly meandering rhythm entwine: soul jazz. Probably also why he is one of the most popular jazz musicians of the sixties and is represented on many best-of compilations of the record label Blue Note Records. Among the musicians who accompanied him on his many recordings sessions, include well-known colleagues, as the organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland and John Patton, or the guitarist George Benson, Grant Green and Melvin Sparks. In addition to their own songs he performed much of the details, like Duke Ellington's Caravan and George Gershwin's Summertime. Have become known especially his jazz adaptations of the works of musicians from soul and funk division, such as Curtis Mayfield's equality anthem If There 's Hell Below ( We're All Gonna Go) or James Brown's classic Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky and Say It Loud! ( I'm Black And I'm Proud ), which was on top of that namesake of an album from 1969. The early seventies, Donaldson turned to in its timbre of newly emerging funk music and incorporated it into his work ( Sassy Soul Strut ).

Donaldson was and is a great admirer of the early deceased jazz musician and alto saxophonist Charlie " Yardbird " Parker.


  • Lou Donaldson's It's Your Thing composition was sampled by De La Soul for their song Bitties In The BK Lounge ( on the album De La Soul Is Dead, 1991).
  • Donaldson's version of Who's Making Love was sampled by De La Soul for their song Wonce Again Long Iceland ( Stakes Is High, 1996).
  • A sample of Lou Donaldson's version of Ode To Billie Joe was of Cypress Hill in Title 3 Lil ' Putos used ( Black Sunday, 1993).

Disco printing specifications



As an accompanist / sideman