Lou Donaldson – The Midnight Creeper

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As he delved deeper into commercial soul-jazz and jazz-funk, Lou Donaldson became better at it. While lacking the bite of his hard bop improvisations or the hard-swinging funk of Alligator Bogaloo, Midnight Creeper succeeds where its predecessor, Mr. Shing-A-Ling failed: it offers a thoroughly enjoyable set of grooving, funky soul-jazz. The five songs — including two originals by Donaldson and one each by Lonnie Smith (who also plays organ on the record), Teddy Vann, and Harold Ousley — aren’t particularly distinguished, but the vibe is important, not the material. And the band — Donaldson, Smith, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist George Benson, and drummer Leo Morris — strikes the right note, turning in a fluid, friendly collection of bluesy funk vamps. 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.

Personnel: Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone); Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Lonnie Smith (organ); George Benson (guitar); Idris Muhammad (drums).

Tracklist

01. Midnight Creeper
02. Love Power
03. Elizabeth
04. Bag of Jawels
05. Dapper Dan

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