Monday, 21 August 2017

Mal Waldron - Quiet Temple

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  • Published on Friday, 29 November 2013 11:26
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Mal Waldron - Quiet Temple

 

Mal Waldron: Quiet Temple

Mal Waldron had one of the most distinctive sounds at the piano, frequently with a brooding, stark attack that could be mistaken for nobody else. A native of New York City, born in 1926. A prolific composer, several of his works ("Soul Eyes," "Left Alone," "Straight Ahead" and "Fire Waltz") became jazz standards, recorded by a number of different artists. Waldron was fond of incorporating repeated riffs that gradually evolved as he played his compositions, which often had a brooding and occasionally ominous air. Waldron was playing jazz on alto saxophone and classical piano until switching to jazz piano during college. Early important gigs as a sideman including work with Charles Mingus and Billie Holiday, though it was his early 1960s albums as a leader and recordings with Eric Dolphy and Booker Little that attracted critical acclaim. By the mid-1960s, Waldron moved to Europe for good, though he regularly returned to his homeland to perform. Waldron was equally at home in any size group, recording a number of times with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy as a duo and in small groups, though he was most frequently heard leading a trio. Waldron was a prolific recording artist for a number of European labels, frequently composing new works for sessions. Mal Waldron died in Brussels, Belgium in December 2002 at the age of 76.
For this circa 1964 studio session, Waldron is joined by bassist George Tucker (who tragically died the following year of a cerebral hemorrhage), a veteran who worked with Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Jaki Byard and Horace Parlan during his all-too-brief career, along with drummer Al Dreares, who only recorded sporadically over a two decade stretch, including dates with Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston and Jackie McLean. Like many of his small group recordings, on this occasion Waldron focuses on his own compositions, though these selections tend to be shorter than on later albums. Both “Salambi (Summerday)” and “All of My Life” are ballads with a wistful air. Waldron’s infectious “Ollie’s Caravan” is a potent bop vehicle with an angular melody that gives it his personal stamp. “Lullaby Chant” is a loping miniature built upon a simple riff. Waldron’s dramatic “The Call to Arms” is a tense number, contrasting with the light-hearted, playful “Skipper’s Waltz.” The best known number is his “Quiet Temple,” also known as “All Alone,” which Waldron recorded several times with various groups during his career.

 

 

 
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