Mal Waldron

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About Mal Waldron

Mal Waldron was an American jazz pianist with a brooding, blues-drenched, rhythmic, highly adaptable style offering distinctive chord voicings, unique left-hand patterns, and the flexibility to play hard bop and free jazz. He worked with Charles Mingus during the 1950s, and was Billie Holiday's final accompanist. He served as Prestige Records' house pianist, playing on dozens of records. In 1961 he led the sessions that became The Quest, with Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin. He emigrated to Europe in 1966 and released his first solo piano album, All Alone, and in 1969 he issued Free a Last as ECM's inaugural release. From the '70s through the '90s, Waldron recorded prolifically and toured almost incessantly. 1982's Snake-Out, a live duo outing with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, kicked off a series of occasional recordings and tours, culminating with 1997's Communiqué. In 2022, Tompkins Square issued the archival Searching in Grenoble: The 1978 Solo Piano Concert.

New York, NY, United States
August 16, 1926
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