Malcolm Earl WALDRON,Aug.16,1925 - December 2,2002
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 12/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"2002 really is a very sad year for jazz,and specially for piano players : after Ellis Larkins,Dodo Marmarosa,Sir Roland Hanna,the great Mal Waldron left us two days ago of cancer, aged 77.
I easily remember my feelings of happiness when I bought two weeks ago,"Left alone revisited",a duet between Mal and Archie Shepp,recorded at the beginning of this year in Paris.Hope this record,issued by Enja, will soon be available on Amazon.com;this could well be the most important record of the year,an incredible masterpiece,maybe the most moving tribute to Billie Holiday ever recorded.
"Left alone" is Mal's first tribute to Billie.Just remind that Mal happened to be Billie's pianist for the two last years of the singer's life.The young pianist was already one of the most singular voices in the world of piano jazz,strongly influenced by Thelonious Monk,but also by the great Elmo Hope and Herbie Nichols.Mal plays with Julian Euell,bass and Al Dreares,drums;the fantastic alto sax of Jackie McLean is featured on some tracks.Both Waldron and McLean will record another tribute to Billie Holiday in 1986 ("left alone '86").Of course,it ain't easy to write about such a major artist so shortly after his death; emotions and memories surely will prevail.But this CD is a must,if you love Billie or if you're addicted to Mal's fascinating music.
The title song,"Left alone",was written by Mal for the music,and Billie for the lyrics.
"Where's the love that's made to fill my heart"Where's the one from whom I'll never part
"First they hurt me then desert me
"I'm left alone,all alone
"Where's the house that I can call my home
"Where's the place from which I'll never roam
"Town or city,it's a pity
"I'm left alone,all alone"Seek and find they allways say
"Bup up 'til now it's not that way
"Maybe fate has let her pass me by
"Or perharps we'll meet before I die
"Hearts will open,but until then
"I'm left alone,all alone.So long, Mal."