Mal Waldron (feat. Steve Lacy) – Live At The Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (1975)

FrontCover1Malcolm Earl “Mal” Waldron (August 16, 1925 – December 2, 2002) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He started playing professionally in New York in 1950, after graduating from university. In the following dozen years or so Waldron led his own bands and played for those led by Charles Mingus, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, and Eric Dolphy, among others. During Waldron’s period as house pianist for Prestige Records in the late 1950s, he appeared on dozens of albums and composed for many of them, including writing his most famous song, “Soul Eyes”, for Coltrane. Waldron was often an accompanist for vocalists, and was Billie Holiday’s regular accompanist from April 1957 until her death in July 1959.

A breakdown caused by a drug overdose in 1963 left Waldron unable to play or remember any music; he regained his skills gradually, while redeveloping his speed of thought. He left the U.S. permanently in the mid-1960s, settled in Europe, and continued touring internationally until his death.

In his 50-year career, Waldron recorded more than 100 albums under his own name and more than 70 for other band leaders. He also wrote for modern ballet, and composed the scores of several feature films. As a pianist,


Waldron’s roots lay chiefly in the hard bop and post-bop genres of the New York club scene of the 1950s, but with time he gravitated more towards free jazz. He is known for his dissonant chord voicings and distinctive later playing style, which featured repetition of notes and motifs. (by wikipedia)

In 1972 Mal Waldron recorded n album with Steve Lacy, in 1974 recorded together the live album “Hard Talk” and in 1975 they jammed together at the legendary Berlin Jazz Festival.

Here´s a short, but brilliant broadcast recording … thanks to jazzrita for sharing the show at Dime.

Recorded live at the Jazztage. Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany; November 6, 1975
Very good FM broadcast.


Allen Blairman (drums)
Steve Lacy (saxophone)
Manfred Schoof (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Jimmy Woode (bass)


01. Intro (in German) 1.07
02. Hard Talk (Maldron) 21.31
03. Russian Melody (Maldron) 8.44

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Mal Waldron – My Dear Family (1993)

FrontCover1This date is notable for the pairing of pianist Mal Waldron and smooth jazz reedman Grover Washington, Jr.. Washington was always over-qualified to play his particular brand of instrumental pop, and it is a joy to hear him stretch out a bit on this straight-ahead session. His supple tone mixes well with trumpeter Eddie Henderson and both musicians take full harmonic advantage of performing with the moody and expansive Waldron. The only disappointment here is the overall somber quality of the selections. Despite an inspired version of “Footprints” and an unexpected choice in the funky “Jean Pierre” — off Miles Davis’ 1981 We Want Miles — the album lags. “Left Alone” features Washington’s trademark soprano sax sound and is a pretty ballad, but is followed up with the mid-tempo “Sassy” negating the prior tune’s impact. Waldron could have earned more kudos with his inclusion of the Japanese traditional song “Sakura Sakura” — an interesting foray into world jazz — if he had only bookended it with some bright up-tempo numbers. Still, this is a superbly performed album by stellar, world-class musicans and should please most hardcore jazz fans. (by Matt Collar)

Recorded on September 23 &24, 1993 at Sound On Sound Studio, NYC

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Pheeroan Aklaff (drums)
Eddie Henderson (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Grover Washington, Jr. (saxophone)
Reggie Workman (bass)

01. Footprints (Shorter) 4.48
02. Left Alone (Waldron) 8.18
03. Sassy (Waldron) 4.02
04. Sakura Sakura (Cherry Blossom) (Traditional) 9.04
05. Here’s That Rainy Day (v.Heusen/Burke) 7.44
06. Jean-Pierre (Davis) 6.30
07. Red Shoes (Noguchi) 7.59
08. My Dear Family (Waldron) 5.19