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Mal Waldron


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Malcolm Earl Waldron (August 16, 1926 – December 2, 2002) was an American jazz and world music pianist and composer.

Born in New York City, his 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.

Waldron had a unique playing style. He played chords in a lower bass part of the keyboard, and is comparable to Bud Powell in his dissonant voices. His solo style is in noted contrast to players like Red Garland.

He was frequently recorded, both as a leader and sideman, with, among others, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Clifford Jordan, Booker Little, Steve Lacy, Jackie McLean and Archie Shepp.


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  • batuhanyahya

    waldron is criminally underrated, just the way he uses space in his performances makes him a truly unique sound in jazz.

    25 Jun 8:49pm Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    Eric Dolphy absolutely murders it on The Quest. [2]

    20 Jan 3:11am Reply
  • PeaceloveK


    23 Oct 2014 Reply
  • nacht_vogel

    Eric Dolphy absolutelly murders it on the Quest

    23 Jul 2013 Reply
  • bloodmaw

    loving The Call, it's becoming one of my favorite records.

    8 Jul 2012 Reply
  • GrindFreak88

    Mal Waldron and Marion Brown in Much More. fucking kills

    13 Apr 2011 Reply
  • xbountyhunterx

    One of the finest pianists/composers in jazz. Master of melancholic music and elegant style. Give this man a Cigarrette please, a good one. Rest in peace Mal.

    30 Aug 2010 Reply
  • albertovilaorti

    Mal Waldron nació en 1926. Hasta el 2000 sé que estaba vivo, ignoro si murió o no. Si vive anda por sus 84 años. Me gustaría que fuera uno de esos músicos longevos, que en el jazz son muy pocos (Hank Jones, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter). Su discografía es muy amplia. Me parecen muy buenas sus versiones con John Coltrane, Jackie McLean y Bill Hardman del 19 de abril de 1957. También las versiones incluidas en "The Sound of Jazz", del mismo año, que muestras su notable versatilidad. Es un músico que puede manejar lo tradicional y el jazz de vanguardia con verdadero talento. Gary Vila Ortiz. Rosario. Argentina.

    15 Mar 2010 Reply
  • brand_new_whn

    Mal Waldron & Steve Lacy - Sempre Amore - great album

    18 Feb 2010 Reply
  • Chiaroscurist

    Billie & Mal = good stuff

    11 Feb 2010 Reply
  • maggot_brain

    Warm Canto, dummies!

    29 Jul 2009 Reply
  • In_Consonance


    1 Jul 2009 Reply
  • Bionella

    hola soy bionella. Q tal de tu vida. yo con aventurillas sustanciales. manda señal hermano.

    19 Jul 2008 Reply

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