FreeWheelin' Music Safari

A Morning with Hammond Heroes leads the Safari to “Bag of Jewels” from Lou Donaldson!

So this morning started with a cold walk to my office. I left the car at the office yesterday and walked home during the snowstorm!  While that may have been a good idea yesterday, it didn’t seem that good this morning, when I faced a ten minute walk to work with single digit wind chill temperatures. But like I always say when I struggle through a run  “At least the music was good!” The music came from an album released back in November titled Hammond Heroes. The album somehow got accidentally downloaded on to the iPhone a while ago and I didn’t delete it because of the title! Well am I glad I didn’t, because it’s got some great tracks on it. It’s has tracks on it from guys like Jimmy and Dr Lonnie Smith, Larry Young, and Jimmy McGriff where they are the top dog and then it has tracks where the organist is a member of the band or trio, pairing with folks like Pat Metheny. John Scofield, Lou Donaldson and Pat Martino. I was constantly looking at the tracks as great ones kept coming on, to see who was playing this time. Well, one of the tracks I liked right away was “Bag of Jewels” from Lou Donaldson. Donaldson is one of those oh, too many jazz artists whose name I know but not their music. the other track that caught my attention was “Oleo” from Pat Martino. Pat was another artist like Lou, and after listening to him play a few weeks ago on that tribute to Wes, I tracked down his music and listened to his album El Hombre and he is that!!

Anyway,after the Hammond Heroes finished I went looking for the Lou Donaldson album that “Bag of Jewels” is on. The album is The Midnight Creeper”  The album was recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 15, 1968 and released on Blue Note. What really got me though was the band, which consisted of Lou Donaldson on sax, Dr Lonnie Smith on organ, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist George Benson, and drummer Leo Morris. Ok I’m sold, so I immediately gave that album a listen and loved it!! Here’s what AllMusic says about the album….

….Donaldson could frequently sound stilted on his commercial soul-jazz dates, but that’s not the case with Midnight Creeper. He rarely was quite as loose on his late-’60s/early-’70s records as he is here, and that’s what makes Midnight Creeper a keeper.Read More

Now, I was going to also write about Pat Martino, but I think I’ll save that for later. So here’s “Bag of Jewels” from The Midnight Creeper….