Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mal Waldron - The Search

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  • Published on Friday, 29 November 2013 11:52
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Mal Waldron - The Search

The Search - 18:49
Entrance -
14:45

Mal Waldron - The Search
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.
Aside from the song titles, the information documenting this forgotten, previously unissued live session has been lost, though it likely is from the early 1970s and taped at the Montmartre Jazzhuis in Copenhagen; it is impossible to identify the personnel since he worked with so many different rhythm sections during that period. Waldron’s brooding “The Search” is an extended, spacious original that finds him taking a backseat to his bassist and drummer for much of the performance. The pianist introduces “Entrance” with a insistent vamp, sharing the spotlight with his drummer as the piece builds momentum, with the piece taking an ominous, in your face direction as its theme is slowly revealed. Although numerous recordings by Mal Waldron are available, these long hidden treasures will delight the pianist’s fans.

 
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