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No More Tears (For Lady Day)

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Album Review

Not to be confused with the trio session recorded in the early '70s, Blues for Lady Day, this recording takes the same familiar trio format to revisit several tunes associated with Billie Holiday, as well as a few written in her memory by Waldron. The pianist is in a somber mood, perhaps because of the theme, though his performance is up to his usually high standards. A master of understatement, Waldron favors lingering chords that hang laconically even with the faster tempos. He rarely inserts an unneeded note, but instead concentrates on total sound. Drummer John Betsch brings out the best in each tune, pushing Waldron when appropriate. Bassist Paulo Cardoso makes little impression, particularly as a soloist, where he sometimes appears trapped by the structures of the songs. He is more successful as an accompanist. The delightful ambience of the trio results in a laid-back atmosphere that soothes and calms. A fine antidote to a stressful world and a lovely tribute to Lady Day.


Born: 16 August 1926 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A pianist with a brooding, rhythmic, introverted style, Mal Waldron's playing has long been flexible enough to fit into both hard bop and freer settings. Influenced by Thelonious Monk's use of space, Waldron has had his own distinctive chord voicings nearly from the start. Early on, Waldron played jazz on alto and classical music on piano, but he switched permanently to jazz piano while at Queens College. He freelanced around New York in the early '50s with Ike Quebec (for whom he made his recording...
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No More Tears (For Lady Day), Mal Waldron
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