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Lou Donaldson Quartet

- Jazz and Cabaret

Lou Donaldson Quartet
Lou Donaldson: Music Director, Saxophone
(Lou Donaldson Bio)
Randy Johnston: Guitar
Dr. Lonnie Smith: Organ
Fukushi Tainaka: Drums

At Birdland
315 West 44th Street, NYC
Gianni Valenti, Owner
Andy Kaufman, Business Manager
Tarik Osman, Manager

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 16, 2004

I caught this second set of Lou Donaldson’s Quartet tonight and was so glad I did! He’s a maestro saxophonist and an entertaining raconteur. His jokes about himself and the band members were colorful and hilarious. In fact, if Lou Donaldson ever retires from performing he would be quite a radio star on any widely known jazz station. Midnight Creeper, announced as “a bit we played in Afghanistan”, had a bluesy feeling infused with funky jazz. Dr. Lonnie Smith is also quite a character on a wild and wanton electric organ that seemed psychedelically charged.

Donaldson evoked Charlie Parker’s style, fused with contemporary sounds and an upbeat mood, backed with constant humor and enjoyment of his own musicians. Some of the whiskey and Viagra jokes led into or underscored the lyrics in his songs. Lou has a great voice, stage presence, and a splendid sax performance. A special guest tonight was Tom Kirkpatrick on trumpet, who now lives in Italy, and Kirkpatrick pepped up the contemporary motif. Lou Donaldson and his Quartet are worth checking out, when they’re back at Birdland.

Stafford Hunter III, Duke Ellington Orchestra Trombonist, and Guest
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Tarik Osman with the Lou Donaldson Quartet
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Russell Malone, Guitarist, and Lou Donaldson
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at