Alligator Bogaloo Lou Donaldson

Cover Alligator Bogaloo

Album info



Label: Blue Note Records

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Funk

Artist: Lou Donaldson

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Alligator Bogaloo06:55
  • 2One Cylinder06:48
  • 3The Thang03:33
  • 4Aw Shucks07:23
  • 5Rev. Moses06:26
  • 6I Want A Little Girl04:29
  • Total Runtime35:34

Info for Alligator Bogaloo

1967's Alligator Bogaloois one of alto saxophonist Lou Daonaldson's best soul jazz Blue Note Recordings, if you can forgive the, for lack of a better adjective,'stupid' and totally unrelated cover art, 'Liberty Records had already bought out Blue Note owner Alfred Lion and graphic artist Reid Miles had been let go, and many of the covers of the late 60's tried to capture this type of white 'modern' hipster look' 'my own hypothesis'.

Despite the Bad cover, the music is the best kind of funky soul jazz, gut bucket and earthy, with plenty of solo space for Donaldson and who ever the Organ player might happen to be, in this case the organist is Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Just about every late 60's soul jazz workout from Lou is worth getting, sometimes like with the album Mr. Shing-A-Ling, weak material can be a problem, sometimes it seems as if Lou isn't all the way into it, 'Maybe he felt sheepish about recording a payday,' no doubt this music was meant for the dance clubs and juke boxes, and specifically marketed to young African Americans.

Lou Donaldson, alto saxophone
George Benson, guitar
Melvin Lastie, cornet
Lee Morris, drums
Lonnie Smith, hammond B3

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 17, 1967

Digitally remastered.

Lou Donaldson
Jazz critics agree that “Sweet Poppa Lou” Donaldson is one of the greatest alto saxophonists of all time. He began his career as a bandleader with Blue Note Records in 1952 and, already at age 25, he had found his sound, though it would continue to sweeten over the years -- earning him his famed nickname --“Sweet Poppa Lou.” He made a series of classic records for Blue Note in the 50’s, and takes pride in having showcased many musicians who made their first records as sidemen for him: Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Horace Parlan, and others. After also making some excellent recordings for Cadet and Argo Records in the early 60s, Lou’s return to Blue Note in 1967 was marked by one of his most famous recordings, Alligator Bogaloo. Lou was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by North Carolina A & T University and a scholarship was established in his name that is awarded to the most gifted jazz musician at North Carolina A & T University each year. He was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame and is the recipient of countless other honors and awards for his outstanding contributions to jazz, America’s “classical music.”

Lou was born in Badin, North Carolina on November 1, 1926 -- the second of 4 children born to father Andrew, a minister and graduate of Livingstone College, and mother, Lucy, graduate of Cheney University who was a teacher, music director and concert pianist who recognized Lou’s expert ear for music and introduced him to the clarinet. He matriculated to North Carolina A& T College at age 15 where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the marching band playing clarinet. After being drafted into the US Navy in 1945, Lou played in the Great Lakes Navy Band where, when playing for dances, he would also play the alto saxophone. After going into Chicago several times, he heard of Charlie Parker and, after checking him out, decided that this was the style of playing he would make his own. Lou moved to New York in 1950 or late 49 where he attended the Darrow Institute of Music and lived at 127th Street and 8th Avenue with his new wife, Maker, his longtime sweetheart from North Carolina who remained his wife and business partner for 56 years until her death in 2006. Together they raised two daughters, Lydia and Carol, and called the Bronx their home where Lou still resides and where he penned his signature tunes like Blues Walk that are still acclaimed classics today.

Today, at age 86, Lou continues to play at his very best, entertaining audiences worldwide with spirited performances that are always soulful, thoroughly swinging, and steeped in the blues. Lou’s hits on Blue Note Records are still high demand favorites and, today, he is the label’s oldest musician from that notable era of jazz. Source:

Booklet for Alligator Bogaloo

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