Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
One Entrance Many Exits
Genres: Jazz, Pop
THERE IS CAUSE TO REJOICE HERE. AN ELUSIVE JAZZ LEGEND HAS COME INTO FOCUS. Those familiar with Mal Waldron will expect him to say more about himself through his piano than any essay can verify. The music he plays is... more »
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THERE IS CAUSE TO REJOICE HERE. AN ELUSIVE JAZZ LEGEND HAS COME INTO FOCUS. Those familiar with Mal Waldron will expect him to say more about himself through his piano than any essay can verify. The music he plays is entirely autobiographical, reflecting one facet or another of this brilliant, original artist. He has always been his own man?his music surely challenges classification. Critic Nat Hentoff describes him as "one of the most probing and unpredictable forces in modern jazz." The reputation enjoyed by Waldron among musicians has been impressive through the years, and he is even more awesome today, as he is still growing today, as he is still growing and maturing in the eighties. His unique approach and compositional gifts place him in company with two idiosyncratic contemporaries?Andrew Hill and Thelonius Monk (a mandarin of the piano) who, likewise, have not spawned a perceivable school of followers in the magnitude, for instance, of the influential James P. Johnson, Art Tatum or Bill Evans in their respective generations. Despite their specialized niches, Waldron articulates the nature and process of creative music, unraveling a particular strand of jazz history. --Herb Wong, Jazz Expert
On which Billy Higgins prove he da best jazz drummer ever
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 04/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set looks slated not to work--just too many odd players unnaturally linked together. The leader, a man of almost maniacal single-mindedness, which, undoubtedly enabled him to produce one of the largest, most distinctive, and highly regarded discographies of any twentieth-century jazz pianist, seems entirely too percussive oriented and declamatory for his band mates (Joe Henderson, tenor sax; David Friesen (!), double-bass; and Billy Higgins, drums). But somehow, each rises to the occasion and the result is an entirely satisfying jazz disc, if not one of the stranger ones ever recorded.Friesen, especially, seems an extremely odd choice for the bass chair. With one foot in new agey-pop oriented styles (see his discs for Shamrock) and another foot in idiosyncratic Pacific Northwest out-ish projects, he just wouldn't seem someone who could connect with Waldron's brash and blooze-drenched pianisms. But connect he does, with perhaps the most remarkable number being the title cut, a duo featuring the two where each completely locks into the other's remarkable playing. There's a weight to Friesen's tone that reminds one of Miroslav Vitous channeling Glen Moore, if such a thing can be imagined (check out his outro harmonics on the title cut for a crack at his astounding technique).Joe Henderson seems somewhat in a transitional phase, moving from his brighter, more extroverted, Coltrane-based style fully on display during the sixties and seventies, into his breathier, more relaxed, lilting, swooping later style, filled with casually pulled-off intervallic leaps, that characterizes his nineties playing. Actually, it's a pleasure to hear him on this disc, as there isn't that much music from him during this period. I confess I prefer his later style, but there is certainly nothing to downgrade his playing here. Indeed, his solos bristles with creativity, and he achieves a very attractive faux-oriental cast to his playing on, for example, "Herbal Syndrome."Waldron is in fine fettle as well. His well-known thickish chordal approach receives plenty of play here. Almost alchemically, he manages to achieve what might be deemed "dancing denseness," the lilt shining through the hammered keyboard almost as the sun shines through a thunderstorm in the desert Southwest. Yes, he tends to beat his piano into submission, but what emerges is entirely wonderful.The real revelation is Billy Higgins. One would've thought his extremely nuanced approach would be swallowed whole by the massive extroversion on display here. Not so. Without changing his basic subtly swinging style, he somehow manages to imbue it with a presence entirely apposite to the startlingly strong musical personalities offered up on this disc. How does he do it? I don't know. It;s kind of a mystery. A master of the deepest possible swing, his "old soul" approach to his primitive instrument ends up emitting the most apposite-sounding grounding imaginable. If you don't believe me, you must hear his astounding trading-fours-with-Waldron that caps off "Blues in 4 by 3."This being probably one of Waldron's lesser-known outings, it behooves the committed listener to check it out for an example of not only his wide diversity, but his ability to marshal, integrate, and meld such different players into one magnificent jazz whole.Eminently worthy of being checked out."
Quicksilver Strikes Gold!
Star Thrower | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer's reservations concerning the collective personnel on this recording say more about him than the musicians. Who cares if David Friesen recorded some new age stuff. About the only thing wrong with this album is the recording which is overly bright. Joe Henderson's tenor sax doesn't sound natural. It seems to be colored by the recording. This of course should be overlooked because the music is on a high level, played with conviction and inventiveness. Grab this one while you can!"