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Mal Waldron

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")

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Chris May

Love Letter is the final album to be made by saxophonist Jimmy Heath, who passed in January 2020 aged 93. It was completeted just a month earlier. The title is well chosen: the album is a love letter to jazz, a love letter to ballads, and a love letter to Heath's surviving family members, friends and ...

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

Trout Mask Replica

Read "Trout Mask Replica" reviewed by Eric Gudas

“No Instruction Sheet": Trout Mask Replica's Unfathomable Origin Story If you were a teenager who liked freaky stuff, on a June day in 1969 you could bicycle down to your local record store and buy a brand-new, shrink-wrapped album with a man covering his entire face with an actual fish head on the cover. A double-LP ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

It Takes Two to Jazz: Part I

Read "It Takes Two to Jazz: Part I" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we focus on the art of the duo. A challenging format as one does neither have the complete freedom of a solo nor the support of a larger band. Yet, in the hands of the right artists, it can produce magical music. Happy listening! Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme ...


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