Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Mala Waldron: Always There

203

Mala Waldron: Always There

By

Sign in to view read count
Mala Waldron: Always There
When you hear Mala Waldron's soulful voice on Always There, you realize that you are experiencing something very special, for Waldron is not only an accomplished vocalist and songwriter, but also a fine pianist who hits the keys with great precision, bringing various musical influences into the jazz realm.

On the romantic "Because of You," which speaks of the happiness that Waldron has encountered with a special someone, bassist Miriam Sullivan performs a beautiful solo halfway through and also provides a backbone when the tune drifts into more of a light reggae mode.

The title track goes into more soul/gospel territory as the singer shows uncertainty in her life, pleading for guidance from God, who is "always there." This time around, veteran guitarist Steve Salerno shows his chops, delivering a highly technical but also heartfelt solo. His riffs throughout the tune are the perfect backdrop for Waldron's sad lament.

The group delivers the album's only cover, The Doors' "Light My Fire," with a funky feel that goes into a more playful mode—Salerno's guitar sounds freer than in the other tracks, and even Waldron sounds more relaxed as she is relieved from carrying one of her own compositions. This is definitely a fun track to hear, and it does justice to the original.

Another welcome surprise is "Too Good For Words," a mostly instrumental piece which begins with an R&B feel but then quickly mutates into a modern jazz tune, giving a chance for Waldron to show her keyboard and scat skills. Kudos also for Steve Salerno, who performs a twisting guitar solo halfway through.

Listen also to "I Do Remember You," an acoustic tip of the hat to Jobim with a bossa nova groove. Drummer Michael "T.A." Thompson channels not only Dom-Um Romao (with some assistance from Jim Clouse) but also does his own take on Jobim with his subtle backing vocals.

Track Listing

Whispers in The Wind; Because of You; Always There; Too Good For words; I Do Remember You; Ellie; Why; Can't Stop Thinking About You; Light My Fire; Proud Lion; Maybe It's Not So.

Personnel

Mala Waldron
piano and vocals

Mala Waldron: vocals, piano/keyboards; Miriam Sullivan: bass; Steve Salerno: guitars; Michael "T.A." Thompson: drums, background vocals; Jim Clouse: additional pecussion (track 5).

Album information

Title: Always There | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Soulful Sound


< Previous
Nomad

Next >
Ecoutez Moi

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Unknown Rivers
Luke Stewart Silt Trio
Life Is Funny That Way
Fay Victor / Herbie Nichols SUNG
Gravity
Eternal Triangle
spi​-​raling horn
Jason Stein / Marilyn Crispell / Damon Smith /...

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.