New - Donaldson, Lou - Blues Walk - LP
Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series All-Analog 180g Vinyl LP Mastered by Kevin Gray Directly from the Original Master Tapes and Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the Classic Vinyl Reissue Series which presents 180g vinyl LP reissues in standard packaging mastered by Kevin Gray and manufactured at Optimal. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes. While the first 16 titles of the series focused on the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, the new run of titles curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman broadens its scope to span the many eras and styles of the legendary label's eight-decade history presented by themes: Bebop, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz, Post-Bop, Avant-Garde, The 70s, The Rebirth, and Hidden Gems.
Lou Donaldson had already been at the helm of seven Blue Note sessions by the time he made his undisputed masterpiece Blues Walk in 1958. The alto saxophonist quickly became a fixture on the Blue Note scene after he first played on a Milt Jackson date in 1952 with sideman appearance on sessions led by Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, and Jimmy Smith, as well as a co-led date with Clifford Brown. On Blues Walk, Donaldson reconvened the line-up from his 1957 album Swing and Soul with Herman Foster on piano, Peck Morrison on bass, Dave Bailey on drums, and Ray Barretto on congas.
The excellent six-song set yielded one of his most memorable themes with the cool struttin' title track, a laid-back minor blues that opens the album with a standout performance by the leader. Donaldson keeps it bluesy on his tune "Play Ray," showcases his bop chops on uptempo numbers like "Denzil Best's "Move" and his own "Callin' All Cats," and delivers stunning renditions of the standards "Autumn Nocturne" and "The Masquerade Is Over."