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Mr. Shing-A-Ling (1967)

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Blue Mitchell

Lou Donaldson does attempt to loosen up a bit with Mr. Shing-A-Ling, but the whole affair is a bit stilted. Not quite the full-fledged electric funk workout that was becoming commonplace for old-guard soul-jazz musicians in the late '60s, but not quite the bop-inflected soul-jazz of the early '60s either, Mr. Shing-A-Ling falls into a netherworld that won't quite connect either with jazz purists or fans of grooving jazz-funk. That said, when the quintet settles into a mid-tempo vamp, Donaldson, trumpeter Blue Mitchell and organist Lonnie Smith do spin out some good solos that are worth hearing. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine