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Blues for Lady Day

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Album Review

Pianist Mal Waldron was Billie Holiday's final regular accompanist and has recorded several tributes to Lady Day through the years. This CD brings back a nine-song solo tribute that consists of eight songs associated with Holiday (including "Don't Blame Me," "You're My Thrill," "Strange Fruit" and "Mean to Me") plus Waldron's "Blues for Lady Day"; the emphasis is on thoughtful (and sometimes a bit downbeat) interpretations at ballad tempoes. The reissue adds two lengthy and unrelated trio improvisations with bassist Henk Haverhoek and drummer Pierre Courbois ("A Little Bit of Miles" and "Here, There and Everywhere") that actually have nothing to do with Lady Day but do feature Mal Waldron coming up with some interesting and fresh ideas.

Biography

Born: August 16, 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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Blues for Lady Day, Mal Waldron
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