Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A great underrated pianist
Umberto | Washington, DC | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this disc by accident, casually listening to the radio. It is now one of my favorite CDs. It is a shame that Mal Waldron is such an underrated and underappreciated pianist, when he obviously has such great talent. I am at a loss at how he is not better known in the US. The CD is consistently good but the high point is Sakura Sakura, based on a Japanese folk song. The repetitive, hypnotic patterns are well translated to the jazz form and are a great pleasure to listen to. Mal's percussive use of the keyboard is trance-like. His interpretation of Miles Davis' Jean Pierre is also a superb rythmic treat. Although this CD is quite different from his earlier efforts (The Quest being his greatest), you can still recognize Mal's unique and wonderful style."
Great late-period Waldron; mellow like a fine Belgian beer
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 06/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mal Waldron represents what's best about jazz. Never a superstar, he nevertheless labored in the jazz vineyards for many years, eventually developing a unique approach to the piano and his own very distinctive voice. His musical credits are simply astounding--he played with many of the all-time greatest jazz artists, including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Steve Lacy, Ron Carter, Gigi Grice, Eric Dolphy, Barney Wilen, Booker Ervin, and, finally, Jim Pepper, for whom he seemed to have a special affinity and whose work together perhaps marks the crowning achievement of each man's lengthy career. There are more than three score records of Mal Waldron as leader listed under his name listed on Amazon.com alone. All told, there are probably well over 100 sessions featuring him as leader.This particular record finds him in a mainly quartet setting with Reggie Workman on bass, Pheeroan akLaff on drums, and Eddie Henderson on trumpet. The surprise here is Grover Washington sitting in on three cuts (and acquitting himself brilliantly, I might add). But the heart and soul of this music is the interaction between piano, bass, and drums. Waldron, Workman, and akLaff seem to have a natural affinity for each other, most clearly on display, perhaps, in the middle section of the electric-period Miles Davis blues, "Jean Pierre," my favorite cut on the disc. Each man gets his day in the sun with a brief solo, but it's really more of a rhythm-section ensemble passage. Waldron himself has many memorable moments, especially his mournful solo on the Japanese popular song, "Red Shoes," where he delves deep and masterfully uncovers its mournful heart. Another favorite bit is his remarkable accompaniment to Eddie Henderson muted solo on "My Dear Family," which magically segues into a marvelously poignant piano solo remarkable for its understated beauty. Not a lot of fireworks here, but a deeply satisfying slooow burn that more than makes up for the lack of pyrotechnics."