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Lou Donaldson (born 1926) is a jazz alto saxophonist. He was born in Badin, North Carolina. He is best known for his soulful, bluesy approach to the alto saxophone, although in his formative years he was, as many were of the bebop era, heavily influenced by Charlie Parker's improvisational approach. His first recordings were with bop emissaries Milt Jackson and Thelonious Monk in 1952, and lead several small groups with other jazz luminaries such as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Horace Silver and the indomitable skinsman, Art Blakey.