Lou Donaldson Possum Heard / Signifying [Import]
- Released: May 7, 2007
- Label: Groove Hut Spain
- 1.Possum Head
- 2.Secret Love
- 3.Midnight Soul
- 4.Bye Bye Blackbird
- 6.Persimmon Tree
- 8.Man With A Horn
- 10.Time After Time
- 11.Si Si Safronia
- 12.Don't Get Around Much Anymore
- 13.I Feel It In My Bones
- 14.Coppin' A Plea
Personnel: Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone); Roy Montrell (guitar); Bill Hardman (trumpet); Big John Patton (organ); Cleopas "Mopedido" Morris (congas).
Liner Note Authors: Al Clarke; Joel Dorn.
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (07/17/1963/01/28/1964); New York, NY (07/17/1963/01/28/1964).
These two Lou Donaldson sets were recorded for Argo/Cadet (Chess subsidiaries) in 1963 and 1964, respectively, at the very beginning of his four-year break with Blue Note. Donaldson left after Good Gracious in early 1963, and returned in 1967 with Lush Life. He recorded seven records during his period with Argo/Cadet including Fried Buzzard, Cole Slaw, Musty Rusty, and this pair. Both starred John Patton on the B-3, and both are gritty, in-your-face soul-jazz dates. Signifyin' does contain a pair of standards in Sammy Cahn's "Time After Time," and a souled out reading of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." The rest are all Donaldson groovers; pure meat and potatoes grease, including the classic "Coppin' a Plea," which is an excellent showcase for Patton. The other players on this date weren't slouches either: drummer Ben Dixon, trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, and guitarist Roy Montrell. Possum Head was recorded and released in 1964, with Patton, Dixon, and Bill Hardman, as well as percussionist Cleopas "Mopedido" Morris. The attack is a bit more diverse, ranging from the smoking, groove-heavy title track and "Persimmon Tree," both written by the leader, and readings of "Bye Bye Blackbird," Ben Webster's breezy "Secret Love," David Raskin's "Laura," and the spunky Latin workout "Frenesi." Donaldson also contributes a ballad called "Midnight Soul." There isn't anything groundbreaking about these records. They are rawer than the Blue Note sides preceding them, and move from hard bop more toward rhythm & blues and the emerging soul-jazz tide that Donaldson would succeed with so dramatically at Blue Note beginning in 1967. That said, these are thoroughly enjoyable records and bear repeated listening for pleasure. Period. ~ Thom Jurek
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