We had so much fun exploring the music of Lou Donaldson while digging into his vast catalogue of tunes and ultimately recording nearly a dozen of his gems. Some we purposefully approached historically while others we reinvented and presented our own spicey twists and turns.

“One Cylinder” posed particular challenges that were only overcome by the history we the band (which we lovingly call “Melting Pot”) have with each other. Having played together for years in NY in various contexts, Joe Kaplowitz (B3 organ authority) started in on a groove/vibe similar to what we’d enoy getting into while playing clubs in NY. Fortunately, our great recording engineer knew always to record, so we captured a killer, in-the-moment arrangement.

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Lou Donaldson (born November 1, 1926; Badin, NC) is a jazz alto saxophonist best known for his soulful, bluesy approach, although in his formative years he was heavily influenced by Charlie Parker.

His first recordings were with bop emissaries Milt Jackson and Thelonious Monk in 1952, and he participated in several small groups with other jazz luminaries such as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Horace Silver, and drummer Art Blakey. In 1953, he also recorded sessions with the trumpet virtuoso Clifford Brown, and Philly Joe Jones. He was a member of Art Blakey’s Quintet and appeared on some of their best regarded albums, including the two albums recorded at Birdland in February 1954 Night at Birdland.

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More on Lou Donaldson can be found:
official web site