BLUES WALK is a fitting title for this 1958 release. Made up of six mid-tempo, blues-influenced tunes, the album features alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and his group creating enjoyable, laid-back jazz that relies more on deep-pocketed grooves than compositional acumen or heady abstractions. Throughout the record, Donaldson is in full command of his horn, and his solos effortlessly combine the blues with bebop.
Donaldson's backing band shines on this disc, too. Ray Barretto's conga playing glues this ensemble together. With the exception of the ballad "Autumn Nocturne," Barretto's funky hand drumming provides the perfect backbone for the soloists. "Callin' All Cats" and "The Masquerade Is Over" spotlight pianist Herman Foster, who offers up some remarkable block-chord improvisations. Donaldson himself is featured best on "Move," the only up-tempo scorcher on the disc. On this tune, Donaldson's cascading bop lines are supported by Dave Bailey's syncopated snare-drum fills and bassist Peck Morrison's driving quarter notes.
Personnel: Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone); Herman Foster (piano); Peck Morrison (bass); Dave Bailey (drums); Ray Barretto (congas).
01 Blues Walk
03 The Masquerade Is Over
04 Play Ray
05 Autumn Nocturne
06 Callin' All Cats