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Lou Donaldson (born 1926) is an American alto saxophonist and bandleader, renowned for his spirited and bluesy tone.

Born in North Carolina, Donaldson gained prominence during the hard bop era, playing with Art Blakey and Horace Silver. His early albums for Blue Note started out in the traditional bop style, but gradually leant to a more soul-jazz sound featuring organ and congas. His run of albums through the 1960s saw his success peak with “Alligator Boogaloo” which condensed his authentic funky blues jazz fusion. Despite a flirtation with an electronic Varitone sax, Donaldson’s long career and iconic albums have cemented his status as a revered altoist. He retired from performing in 2017.