Interview: Lou Donaldson (Part 1) - JazzWax

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June 21, 2010


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I saw Donaldson with Lonnie Smith at the Village Vangaurd in about '96 or '97. Good stuff.


I happened to meet Lou in a restaurant in Copenhagen sometime in the early 80'ies.
I knew he was in town, but somehow had missed his concert, I guess the same night.

I knew his playing well from his early work with the Jazz Messengers, and admired his playing. I still do. I think he is one of the best Bird disciples ever.

Anyway, he entered with a host of Danish musicians and sat down at a table next to us.
I thinks someone from their table, who knew I played the alto, came up to me, and asked me if I would like to meet Mr. Donaldson.

Overwhelmed, I went up to Lou, and my friend introduced me: "This is .... He also plays alto. And you and Charlie Parker are his all-time favorites".

At the sound of Charlie Parker's name, Lou made a face and a uttered 'uuh'.


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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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