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by Karl Ackermann
The sensitivity reflected in much of Mal Waldron's music was a deep aspect of his psyche. The Harlem-born pianist, who died in Brussels, Belgium, in 2002, worked downtown with saxophonist Ike Quebec at Café Society in the early 1950s and went on to record on several Charles Mingus recordings including Pithecanthropus Erectus (Atlantic), Jazz Composers Workshop (Savoy Records), and Mingus At The Bohemia (Debut Records), all released in 1956. Waldron was not at home with Mingus' style of composing and ...read more
by Mike Neely
One More Time is an intimate portrait of two neglected masters with a third master, Steve Lacy, stepping in to add his low-key tip of the hat. Mal Waldron and Jean-Jacques Avenel are the focus of this release that serves as a tribute to Waldron, one of jazz's most versatile pianists who died in 2002. The highlights of Waldron's career are striking by any standard. Many of his recordings with Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday, Eric Dolphy, and Steve ...read more
by Mark Corroto
The digital age with its bits and bytes has allowed for huge musical projects and reissue bonanzas. We have come from Louis Armstrong playing two minute classics cut into cylinders to today’s complete recordings of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson sessions, expanded from double LPs to four and five CDs of raw material.
Like Keith Jarrett’s recent live six-disc Blue Note set, the sprawling Live At Dreher, Paris 1981 is a large scale recording documenting a performance by ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
During his lifetime Mal Waldron teamed with some great jazz musicians, including Billie Holiday. He was never afraid of taking chances with his music, often flying in the face of convention. He chose to express himself in modes that gave unusual shape and texture to his compositions. Those traits are in evidence here. In one of his last recordings, he finds the right complement in another singer, Judi Silvano, who gives voice to song with an assurance that delves deep ...read more
by AAJ Staff
A self-described high point" for pianist Mal Waldron, One More Time goes eight times further than the title suggests. On this collection of eight tunes (all originals), Waldron spans a wide range of styles and moods. For example: the cozy lyricism of the solo piece All Alone" goes angular and punchy in its final moments, leading to the edgy romanticism of Rites of Initiation," a duo with bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel. At times Maldron seems to tug Avenel along, and at ...read more
by Robert Spencer
Over twenty years after its first release, One-Upmanship appears for the first time on compact disc, and it is a most welcome reappearance. The appearance of any recording by Mal Waldron should be a cause for celebration, but this one is particularly special for a number of reasons. Not only is Waldron joined by his longtime duo partner, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, but by three other performers with a keen simpatico: trumpeter Manfred Schoof, bassist Jimmy Woode, and drummer Makaya ...read more