Thursday, November 21, 2019

Mal Waldron

Mal Waldron is often compared to Thelonious Monk. He didn't play fast, and he kept the beat uncomplicated. In the 1950s, though, Waldron wasn’t yet a mature artist. His solos displayed authentic hard-bop flavored with a taste of surrealism but lacked the power of Horace Silver or Monk. He was well-suited as the accompanist for Billie Holiday.
In the early Sixties, Waldron’s laconic attitude and ease with paper made him a good fit for the emerging avant-garde - not the completely free or atonal players, but the likes of Max Roach or Eric Dolphy who were doing more measured experiments. Several sets of Dolphy and Waldron alongside Booker Little, Richard Davis, and Ed Blackwell at the Five Spot are famous. 

But in 1966, Mal would shine with this recording. Enjoy its textures and play it loud. Although this isn't rock, it was a great influence on artists like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.

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