Watch the The Mitchell Man online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know
When I first started listening to altoist Lou Donaldson's late '60s records my wife’s immediate reaction was "is there anyone who doesn’t like this kind of music?" Which is why we’re married, of course, but she has what I like to think is a pretty universal point.
The tune we were listening to at that moment was written by tenor saxophonist Harold Ousley (also the musician behind the outstandingly titled 1972 track "Uncle Funky"), featured Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and appeared on Midnight Creeper, Donaldson’s 1968 follow-up to his Alligator Boogaloo of the previous year. Donaldson was a stone cold bebopper in the 1950s, and to this day his attitude is "I’m a Charlie Parker man, anything else is just another saxophone player." But he was always interested in connecting with the public, so as tastes shifted, so did his music, and records like Alligator Boogaloo and Midnight Creeper (both with George Benson on guitar) were the result.