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Larry Kart

Mal Waldron's Mal-1

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Put on this LP again after many years and was duly impressed by Mal's writing (dig his additions to "Stablemates" and his own "Dee Dee's Dilemma") and by the excellence of  the always distinctive Idrees Sulieman (this may be his best recorded work), who is nicely paired with Gigi Gryce in good form.

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I really like this one. And Mal-2 is one of my big favorites. Once I decided to re-name that one "Everything that you could Be if Charles Mingus were your ex-Boss"--it seems very Mingus -informed and -inspired to me.

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Then after those 2, you can put on The Quest.

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Not bad at all but in my opinion, it isn’t that great in comparison to his ‘70’s and ‘80’s stuff. And this comes from a Mal completist.

 Oh yes and The Quest of course! 

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Yes.  "The Quest" is incredible.  Ervin and Dolphy.  "Status Seeking" is especially killer!

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Nothing against "The Quest," quite the contrary (with the possible exception of Ron Carter's intonation on cello), but "Mal-1" is a message from some five years earlier, and for me its meaning is bound up with that fact. Mal, Sulieman, Gryce et al. are speaking in and from a particular place in time -- a different place from where Mal, Dolphy, et al. were located and speaking from in 1961. Such things matter sometimes.

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33 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Nothing against "The Quest," quite the contrary (with the possible exception of Ron Carter's intonation on cello), but "Mal-1" is a message from some five years earlier, and for me its meaning is bound up with that fact. Mal, Sulieman, Gryce et al. are speaking in and from a particular place in time -- a different place from where Mal, Dolphy, et al. were located and speaking from in 1961. Such things matter sometimes.

True that.  There were some cataclysmic changes in the music between 56 and 61.

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6 hours ago, felser said:

True that.  There were some cataclysmic changes in the music between 56 and 61.

Yep ....

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u-g-P6Z74X0.jpg?w=550&h=550&p=0

Btw beautiful cover art ....

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I am among the few here that are not big fans of Mal Waldron. Though I do enjoy his early recordings on Prestige.

This one Larry referred to - Mal-1 - is  one of those I do like.

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17 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Nothing against "The Quest," quite the contrary (with the possible exception of Ron Carter's intonation on cello), but "Mal-1" is a message from some five years earlier, and for me its meaning is bound up with that fact. Mal, Sulieman, Gryce et al. are speaking in and from a particular place in time -- a different place from where Mal, Dolphy, et al. were located and speaking from in 1961. Such things matter sometimes.

Yes that is very true Larry. Perhaps I should listen to Mal 1 with that perspective. But I have to say that Mal 4 and Impressions would be my Prestige picks.

 

54 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

I am among the few here that are not big fans of Mal Waldron. Though I do enjoy his early recordings on Prestige.

This one Larry referred to - Mal-1 - is  one of those I do like.

This I just cannot believe. Being a fan of Mal Waldron is of course a matter of taste. But if you’re not I cannot believe you’re still preferring his ‘50’s stuff above records like The Reminiscent Suite, The Call, Encounter, One Upmanship or Seagulls. 

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In the 50's, Waldron was not one of my favorite jazz pianists. I much preferred to hear Sonny Clark, Horace Silver, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Ray Bryant and many others. But Mal's recordings in the 50's tended to be more in the straight ahead vein. He most often was playing with bebop or hard bop oriented players who wanted to swing.

The Mal Waldron I have heard from his later periods had veered away from the style of playing I prefer to hear.

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Love Mal in the mid-to-late 60's and most of the 70's - solo, trio, larger groups, you name it!!  And I "like" him before the mid-60's, but not obsessively (and only just so much).

But much as I've tried (and despite my loving Woody Shaw probably 90% of the time), I've never really warmed to The Git-Go, or Seaguls (much as I've tried).  NorOne Entrance, Many Exits (despite my love of Joe Henderson as much as Woody Shaw).  Which is REALLY odd, since I love Woody and Joe so damn much -- but then how it is that I don't connect too well with their appearances with Mal Waldon? (who I love so much circa 1966-78) -- is just confounding.  Maybe I should try again (been at least 10 years since I've heard any of those, but I've tried several times with all three, including back in college in the early 90's).

  • (I also can't get with Andrew Hill's Shades either, which is also from around that same timeframe -- but I overwise love Clifford Jordan (who's on that Hill date).  Weirdest thing, but the reasons why (though elusive), feel very similar... is the only reason I mention the Hill date -- but I digress.)

I kinda feel like Mal really starts speaking to me the strongest in 1969, and I can start to hear some of that on the one 1966 trio thing I have by him (the one with the all--Italian rhythm section) -- but then somewhere around 1980 he loses me (or I lose him).

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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1 hour ago, Rooster_Ties said:

 

  • (I also can't get with Andrew Hill's Shades either...

 

 

Now that's just wrong:g

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Mal, Verve, Black & Blue

Quadrologue at the Utopia - both volumes

Mal, Dance & Soul

 

maybe my favorite Mal recordings 

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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2 hours ago, Steve Reynolds said:

Mal, Verve, Black & Blue

Quadrologue at the Utopia - both volumes

Mal, Dance & Soul

 

maybe my favorite Mal recordings 

I need to get those Waldron Tutu discs.  Don't have them. Never heard them. 

Ugh.  :( 

 

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12 hours ago, HutchFan said:

I need to get those Waldron Tutu discs.  Don't have them. Never heard them. 

Ugh.  :( 

 

Yeah they are pretty good :) 

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Always had a lot of affection for this record. It's got so much... mood. It's also a real triumph of programming, which is saying something given Bob Weinstock's preference for blowing sessions.

Also interesting to me how relatively light Mal's touch here is compared NOT to his post-breakdown work, but the more "pounding" playing he was doing with Mingus around this same time. Cf., AT THE BOHEMIA, which is one of my top 5 Mingus records (though I feel like it doesn't get much love). That Mal sounds more like 60s Mal than this Mal. Not a good or bad thing; just interesting (maybe).

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1 hour ago, Joe said:

Always had a lot of affection for this record. It's got so much... mood. It's also a real triumph of programming, which is saying something given Bob Weinstock's preference for blowing sessions.

Also interesting to me how relatively light Mal's touch here is compared NOT to his post-breakdown work, but the more "pounding" playing he was doing with Mingus around this same time. Cf., AT THE BOHEMIA, which is one of my top 5 Mingus records (though I feel like it doesn't get much love). That Mal sounds more like 60s Mal than this Mal. Not a good or bad thing; just interesting (maybe).

Count me in as a fan of that Mingus and its companion, "& Max Roach".  Seems to be where MIngus found his first distinctive sound.  And I agree about Waldron on that compared to this.  

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57 minutes ago, felser said:

Count me in as a fan of that Mingus and its companion, "& Max Roach".  Seems to be where MIngus found his first distinctive sound.  And I agree about Waldron on that compared to this.  

Agreed... it's the record where Mingus starts to sound like Mingus.

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7 hours ago, Joe said:

AT THE BOHEMIA, which is one of my top 5 Mingus records (though I feel like it doesn't get much love) ...

❤ ....

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I was sure I had a japan pressing of it, right now I discovered I don't.:(

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I really need to pick up some of these earlier Mal leader-dates.  I have whatever's on the Prestige Coltrane boxes -- so I'm seeing that's Mal/2 and The Dealers (plus the 3 Trane dates that Mal's a sideman on), but that's about it (maybe The Quest, which I know I used to own, but haven't seen in eons -- maybe I finally had enough of Ron Carter's cello? :P).

But I really need to get more of the rest of his pre-'69 output.  I've heard several of them before, years ago (borrowed from friends), and have always meant to get more -- but I've been more obsessive about his 1969-1980 output.

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