Donaldson, Lou: Alligator Boogaloo LP
In honor of Blue Note Records' 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label's history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in August 2019 with Part 2 of the Blue Grooves theme - Lou Donaldson Alligator Bogaloo (1967), Donald Byrd Ethiopian Knights (1972) and John Scofield Hand Jive (1994) - and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year.
A hard-bop-meets-soul-jazz classic, Alligator Bogaloo features three 'Sweet Lou' Donaldson tunes, including the hit title track, the swinging, R&B styled "The Thang," with organ shouts and exuberant utterances, and the upbeat "Rev. Moses" where all the band members romp with Lou and a fiery Lonnie Smith leading the way. Lonnie contributes the slow, steady "Aw Shucks!" where the band opens up for instrumental expressions in the relaxed zone. Lou also covers vibraphonist Freddie McCoy's oozing soul-jazz gem, "One Cylinder" (George Benson's guitar ebullience is at its best on this track), and closes the long player with a '30s-era ballad, "I Want a Little Girl." With Melvin sitting out, this is Lou's luminous lyrical showcase.