Friday, April 29, 2011

Mal Waldron with Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin - The Quest

A gem from the 1961 Dolphy cannon, this one has often been released under Dolphy's name but in fact highlights the compositional skills of pianist Mal Waldron. Waldron was an old school bopper who'd backed Billie Holiday and worked with artists like John Coltrane (Waldron wrote the song "Soul Eyes" which Coltrane later turned into a classic) on a decent series of hard-bop Prestige dates. In the early sixties Waldron changed with the currents and recorded extensively with Eric Dolphy (and later with Mingus).

This album finds Waldron and Dolphy with a great supporting cast including fellow Mingus alumnus Booker Ervin on tenor sax, Ron Carter on cello (echoing his work on Dolphy's "Out There" album), Joe Benjamin on bass and Charlie Persip on drums. Two of these songs, "Status Seeking" and "Fire Waltz" would become part of the repertoire when Waldron toured with Dolphy and Booker Little soon after these recordings, resulting in the legendary Five Spot shows captured by New Jazz. A good album that fits nicely with the sixty-some odd other recordings (I'm not kidding on that number, either) Dolphy made in 61 with the likes of Mingus, Coltrane, Oliver Nelson, Ron Carter, Booker Little, Max Roach, and Ornette Coleman (as well as a few solo albums and a couple other artists I'm forgetting). Enjoy.


1 comment:

Bruce the Moose said...

Great stuff, but track 7 is cut off at the end (or was the original cut off?). But it's only a minor blemish.