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Musician

Mal Waldron

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Born in New York City, Waldron's jazz work was chiefly in the hard bop, post-bop and free jazz genres. He is known for his distinctive chord voicings and adaptable style, which was originally inspired by the playing of Thelonious Monk. After obtaining a B.A. in music from Queen's College, New York, he worked in New York City in the early 1950s with Ike Quebec, "Big" Nick Nicholas, and rhythm and blues groups. He worked frequently with Charles Mingus from 1954 to 1956 and was Billie Holiday's regular accompanist from 1957 until her death in 1959. He also supervised recording sessions for Prestige Records, for which he provided arrangements and compositions (including the jazz standard "Soul Eyes")

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

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Article: Album Review

Dan Rose, Claudine Francois: New Leaves

Read "New Leaves" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On New Leaves, their second recording together, longtime friends and sometime colleagues guitarist Dan Rose and pianist Claudine Francois focus their talents on making beautiful music together, a plan whose success is self-evident but whose single-mindedness could leave some listeners wishing for greater variety. That's not meant to berate, as beauty needs no defense, but simply ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: Album Review

Benoit Delbecq: The Weight of Light

Read "The Weight of Light" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Parisian pianist & composer Benoît Delbecq has not recorded a solo album in more than a decade. His collaborations are with impressive company including Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, Lotte Anker, Mark Turner, Steve Argüelles, Gerald Cleaver, Marc Ducret, Gerry Hemingway, Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Kris Davis. It is Davis' Pyroclastic Records that Delbecq calls ...

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Article: Live Review

Enjoy Jazz and More 2020

Read "Enjoy Jazz and More 2020" reviewed by Henning Bolte


Various venues Enjoy Jazz and More Heidelberg, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Schwetzingen October 14-30, 2020 Enjoy Jazz is a festival that stretches across 7 weeks from the beginning of October to halfway through November in the urban area of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg in southwestern Germany. The long stretch had ...

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Article: Under the Radar

The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini

Read "The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In 1919, the Pasadena Evening Post said: “the friends of Mr. Whiteman have with much enthusiasm bestowed the title of “King of Jazz" upon him." While Paul Whiteman was heavily criticized for wearing the crown, it was not one that was self-attributed or with which he felt completely comfortable. But Whiteman was a brilliant marketer and ...

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Article: Album Review

Jerry Cook Quartet +: A Walk in the Park

Read "A Walk in the Park" reviewed by Jack Bowers


While some young lions can hardly wait to enter a recording studio and show the world what they have, a few older cats prefer to wait a while to make sure they get it right the first time. Veteran saxophonist Jerry Cook is one of those cats. Walk in the Park is Cook's first album under ...

Article: Album Review

Alex Harding, Lucian Ban: Dark Blue

Read "Dark Blue" reviewed by Neri Pollastri


Duo estremamente longevo questo tra il pianista di origini rumene Lucian Ban e il sassofonista di Detroit Alex Harding, questo Dark Blue è il loro quarto album, ma esce a undici anni dal precedente. E la loro intesa è tangibile lungo tutto l'arco del programma, che include solo brani originali (sei di Harding e cinque di ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...


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