Sometimes Waldron

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mal Waldron (1987)

Malcolm Earl "Mal" Waldron (born August 16, 1925 in New York City , New York ; † December 2, 2002 in Brussels , Belgium ) was an American modern jazz pianist who lived in Europe from 1965. His piano playing is unmistakable through the repetitive percussive patterns.


Waldron began playing the piano at the age of nine; as a youth he divided attention between this instrument and the alto saxophone on which he played jazz. From 1943 he did his military service. After studying classical piano and a bachelor's degree in composition with Karol Rathaus at Queens College (1949), he composed ballet music before becoming an instrumentalist.

In 1949 he worked as a pianist with Big Nick Nicholas . From 1950 to 1953 he was a member of the Ike Quebec band , and was also active in rhythm and blues with Varetta Dillard and The Wanderers . From 1954 to 1957 he played mainly with Charles Mingus ( Pithecanthropus Erectus ), but also with Teo Macero and Teddy Charles . As a resident pianist for Prestige Records , he has worked with John Coltrane , Gene Ammons , Jackie McLean and Kenny Burrell, among others . 1958/1959 he accompanied the singer Billie Holiday (among others in Europe). This collaboration reflects after Holiday's death his record Left Alone (with Jackie McLean), which ultimately earned him great recognition in Japan . In the following years he made highly regarded recordings with Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach ( Percussion Bitter Sweet ) as well as with Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin . Due to the strong economic pressure that jazz musicians were often exposed to during this period, he suffered a severe nervous breakdown in 1963. After a year in the clinic, he had to relearn a large part of his piano playing.

From 1965 he lived in Europe; he worked with Dusko Goykovich in 1966 , then in Italy. From 1967 to the 1990s he lived in Munich , after which he moved to Brussels. From the 1970s onwards he became very well known, especially in Japan, but also in Europe. Since the 1980s he has also performed regularly in the USA. For the past 30 years he has played a. a. with Jim Pepper , Chico Freeman , Marion Brown , Jeanne Lee , Steve Lacy , Embryo , Manfred Schoof , David Friesen , Archie Shepp and David Murray . Particularly noteworthy is his collaboration with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. They first met in 1958 to record pieces by Thelonious Monk . From the 1970s they worked intensively together and released several albums with duo recordings.

Waldron was also active as a film composer, u. a. for the films Die Lässig Welt (1963), Drei Zimmer in Manhattan (1965); Sweet Love Bitter (1967) and George qui? (1973). In the field of jazz he wrote standards such as Soul Eyes (for John Coltrane), Left Alone and Fire Waltz.

With the title Mal Waldron, Waldron 's duo record with Judi Silvano contains a touching, music-historical appraisal by the singer. The pianist Mala Waldron , with whom he also recorded in 1995, is his daughter. In 2002 Waldron succumbed to cancer.


Mal Waldron deserves the credit of having recorded Free at Last, the first ever release of the renowned ECM label , in 1969 ; he was accompanied by bassist Isla Eckinger and drummer Clarence Becton . It was his only album with this label.

Publications (selection)

  • Don't Explain by Billie Holiday (1956)
  • Mal / 2 by Mal Waldron (1957)
  • Steve Lacy plays Steve Lacy's Thelonious Monk with Buell Neidlinger and Elvin Jones (1958)
  • Left Alone by Mal Waldron (1959)
  • Blues & Roots by Charles Mingus (1959)
  • The Quest by Mal Waldron (1961)
  • At the Five Spot Vol. 1 - 3 by Eric Dolphy & Booker Little with Richard Davis and Ed Blackwell (1961)
  • Free at Last by Mal Waldron (1969)
  • All Alone - Live in Tokyo by Mal Waldron (1971)
  • The Call by Mal Waldron with Jimmy Jackson , Eberhard Weber , Fred Braceful (1971)
  • A Little Bit of Miles by Mal Waldron with Pierre Courbois and Henk Haverhoek (1972)
  • Hard Talk by Mal Waldron (1974)
  • Moods by Mal Waldron (1978)
  • Mingus Lives by Mal Waldron, piano solo, Live at the Chapati Club, Spa / Belgium (1979)
  • Live at Dreher Paris 1981 , with Steve Lacy
  • In Retrospect by Mal Waldron (1982)
  • With times. Sumiko Yoseyama meets Mal Waldron by Sumiko Yoseyama (1983)
  • Dedication by Mal Waldron, David Friesen (1985)
  • Songs of Love and Regret by Mal Waldron, Marion Brown (1985)
  • The Seagulls of Kristiansund - Live at the Village Vanguard by Mal Waldron Quintet (Mal Waldron, Woody Shaw , Charlie Rouse , Reggie Workman , Ed Blackwell ) (1986)
  • The Git Go - Live At the Village Vanguard by Mal Waldron Quintet (Mal Waldron, Woody Shaw , Charlie Rouse , Reggie Workman , Ed Blackwell ) (1986)
  • Left Alone '86 by Mal Waldron (1986)
  • Live at Sweet Basil by Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy (1987)
  • Mal, Dance and Soul by Mal Waldron (1987)
  • For you only by Tom Mega (1987)
  • Update (1987) by Mal Waldron (Solo Piano)
  • Evidence by Mal Waldron (1988)
  • Flakes by Mal Waldron, Tiziana Simona, Enrico Rava , Steve Lacy (1988)
  • Much More by Mal Waldron, Marion Brown (1988)
  • duo - quartet - solo by Mal Waldron, Christian Burchard (1989) (also as Into the Light )
  • Where are you? by Mal Waldron (1989)
  • More Git 'Go At Utopia by Mal Waldron, Jim Pepper, Ed Schuller , John Betsch (1989)
  • Crowd Scene by Mal Waldron (1989)
  • Quadrologue at Utopia by Mal Waldron, Jim Pepper (1989)
  • Up and Down by Mal Waldron, Chico Freeman (1989)
  • Hot House by Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy (1990)
  • Our Colline's A Treasure (1991) by Mal Waldron Trio (Mal Waldron, Leonard Jones, Sangoma Everett)
  • After Hours by Mal Waldron and Jeanne Lee (1994)
  • Mal, Verve, Black & Blue Live at Satiricon by Mal Waldron (1994)
  • The Big Rochade with Nicolas Simion (1995)
  • Soul Eyes by Mal Waldron with Steve Coleman , Joe Henderson , Jeanne Lee, Abbey Lincoln, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille (1997)
  • Riding a Zephyr by Judi Silvano and Mal Waldron (2000)
  • Left Alone Revisited by Mal Waldron and Archie Shepp (2002)

Lexical entries

Web links


  1. Not, as is usually stated in the literature, in 1926, Waldron corrected this error in 1988. Compare Anders Mathiessen Mal Waldron: A Brief Outline of his Musical Life