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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Here 'Tis

Blue Note 5 14371 2


1. A Foggy Day
2. Here 'Tis
3. Cool Blues
4. Watusi Jump
5. Walk Wid Me
Lou Donaldson - Alto sax
Grant Green - Guitar
Baby Face Willette - Organ
Dave Bailey - Drums


Lou Donaldson is sometimes dismissed as a mere imitator of Charlie Parker, but this 1961 session shows that, although he was definitely influenced by Parker, he developed his own individual approach. You might say that, whereas someone like Cannonball Adderley was a groovy descendant of Charlie Parker, Lou Donaldson was almost the smooth follower of Parker - and that is not to lessen Donaldson's achievements. Lou himself is quoted on the sleeve as saying that he wanted this session to exemplify "funky" and "soul" jazz, adding that he likes to keep his style simple. So there are few Parkerish flurries of notes but plenty of straightforward playing with an emphasis on the blues.

In fact four of the five tracks are blues tunes: three originals by Lou as well as Charlie Parker's Cool Blues. The only non-blues is A Foggy Day, and even this is given a bluesy atmosphere. Just sample the easygoing title-track, where all four musicians sound comfortable with the laid-back groove. The blues feeling is clearly to be heard in the Hammond organ of Baby Face Willette and the guitar of Grant Green. For some while this was thought to be Grant Green's debut recording, although an earlier disc was discovered in 2001: Grant Green's own First Session. Grant's crystal-clear solos add much to the album, as do those by Lou Donaldson - stripping down the style to achieve the maximum effect.

There are only two flaws to this CD. One is that organist Baby Face Willette gets out of synch with Lou's solo in Cool Blues. The other is the album's short playing-time: around 39 minutes, which is not particularly generous, even for an album that only costs between six and seven pounds.

Tony Augarde






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