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Mal Waldron was an integral part of Hard Bop but later gravitated to Free Jazz. As you will read below this 1956 album “Mal-1” was the first of four with the similar title. He played with Mingus from 1954-56 and was very active throughout all the  New York City Jazz clubs.Very interesting career which ended in Munich, Germany (More on Bio below). The Jazz Con Class listeners will enjoy this very creative hard bop album, check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered from the original analog master tapes by Phil De Lancie (1991, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley). This 1956 release was the first of Waldron’s four “Mal” titles (MAL-1, MAL-2, MAL-3, and MAL-4). At the time of these recordings Waldron was working as Billie Holiday’s accompanist–he was her piano player for the last two years of her life, and, like the legendary singer, he uses dramatic understatement rather than overt flash. This set is a mix of originals and standards. Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays” is stripped to its core components, with the bass setting the pulse, as a solo trumpet starts the melody, slowly joined by sax and finally the whole ensemble. “Bud Study” is a perfect encapsulation…….Read More

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Biography of Mal Waldron:

Born in New York City, Waldron’s jazz work was chiefly in the hard bop, post-bop and free jazz genres. He is known for his distinctive chord voicings and adaptable style, which was originally inspired by the playing of Thelonious Monk.

After obtaining a B.A. in music from Queen’s College, New York, he worked in New York City in the early 1950s with Ike Quebec, “Big” Nick Nicholas, and rhythm and blues groups. He worked frequently with Charles Mingus from 1954 to 1956 and was Billie Holiday’s regular accompanist from 1957 until her death in 1959. He also supervised recording sessions

for Prestige Records, for which he provided arrangements and compositions (including the jazz standard “Soul Eyes”). After Holiday’s death he chiefly led his own groups……Learn More

 

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