Eric Dolphy/Booker Little quintet – Aggression (1961)

Aggression is recorded July 16, 1961. It appears on the second of three sets that document the Eric Dolphy / Booker Little quintet’s playing at the Five Spot

At the Five Spot volumes one and two is a pair of jazz albums documenting one night (16 July 1961) from the end of Eric Dolphy and Booker Little’s two-week residency at the Five Spot in New York. This was the only night to be recorded; the engineer was Rudy Van Gelder. [source]

An excellent set that records what may have been Dolphy’s finest group ever, as well as one of that era’s best working bands. [source]

Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute / Booker Little – trumpet / Mal Waldron – piano / Richard Davis – double bass / Ed Blackwell – drums




Charles Mingus – Love Chant (1956)

Pithecanthropus Erectus is a 1956 album by jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus. Mingus noted that this was the first album where he taught arrangements to his musicians by ear in lieu of writing everything down. [source]

Tracks on Pithecanthropus Erectus: 1. Pithecanthropus Erectus – 10:36 / 2. A Foggy Day – 7:50 (George Gershwin) / 3. Profile of Jackie” – 3:11 / 4. Love Chant – 14:59

Line up: Charles Mingus – Bass / Jackie McLean – Alto Saxophone / J. R. Monterose – Tenor Saxophone / Mal Waldron – Piano / Willie Jones – Drums



Billie Holliday / Ray Ellis & His Orchestra – I’m a Fool To Want You (1958)

First track on the album Lady In Satin by Billie Holliday and Ray Ellis & His Orchestra , recorded 19–21 February 1958, released on Columbia same year.

This is the most controversial of all Billie Holiday records. Lady Day herself said that this session (which finds her accompanied by Ray Ellis´ string orchestra) was her personal favorite, and many listeners have found her emotional versions of such songs as “I’m a Fool to Want You,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “Glad to Be Unhappy,” and particularly “You’ve Changed” to be quite touching. [source]

Billie Holiday – Vocal / Ray Ellis – Arranger, Conductor / George Ockner – Violin , concertmaster / David Soyer – Cello / Janet Putnam – Harp / Danny Bank – Flute / Phil Bodner – Flute / Romeo Penque – Flute / Mel Davis – Trumpet / J.J. Johnson – Trombone / Urbie Green – Trombone / Tom Mitchell – Trombone / Mal Waldron – Piano / Barry Galbraith – Guitar / Milt Hinton – Bass / Osie Johnson – Drums / Elise Bretton – Backing Vocals / Miriam Workman – Backing vocals


Mal Waldron with Eric Dolphy – Warm Canto (1961)

Recorded 27 June 1961. From the album The Quest.

The Quest is an album by American jazz pianist Mal Waldron recorded in 1961 and released on the New Jazz label. Some reissues of the album appear under Eric Dolphy´s name. [source]

Joe Benjamin – Bass
Ron Carter – Cello
Eric Dolphy – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Charlie Persip – Drums
Mal Waldron – Piano




Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron – I Only Have Eyes For You (2002)

I Only Have Eyes For You is from the album Left Alone Revisited: A Tribute to Billie Holiday by Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron,  recorded Februar 7 & 8 in 2002 at La Muse en Circuit, Paris, and released on Enja Records in 2002.

Mal Waldron´s first tribute to Billie Holiday, titled Left Alone, was recorded in 1959, mere months before the singer’s death. He returned to salute the legendary vocalist on several occasions since then, with this CD likely being his final tribute, recorded less than a year before his own death. Waldron, who worked with Holiday during her last years, is intimately familiar with her takes of the six standards heard on this disc, along with her own “Lady Sings the Blues.” Archie Shepp´s often gritty tenor sax is reminiscent of the texture of Holiday´s  voice, yet he perfectly complements Waldron´s lush piano. They also pack a punch with their stark performance of “Left Alone” (Shepp´s occasional reed squeaks seem deliberate, as if to imitate breaks in her voice). Waldron also recites Holiday´s lyrics set to his composition at the conclusion of the CD. Shepp switches to soprano sax for an emotional take of “Everything Happens to Me” and “I Only Have Eyes for You,” with the latter song sounding as if the unheard singer is being ignored by her love interest. Shepp´s “Blues for 52nd Street” is both sassy and swinging. This instrumental salute to Billie Holiday is one of the best albums ever to honor her memory. [source]

Tracks: Easy Living / Nice Work If You Can Get It / Everything Happens To Me / Left Alone / When Your Lover Has Gone / I Only Have Eyes For You / Blues For 52nd Street / Porgy / Lady Sings The Blues / Left Alone (Spoken Lyrics)

Mal Waldron – Piano
Archie Shepp – Vocals, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor saxophone