Two of pianist Mal Waldron's first three albums as a leader are combined on this two-LP set. Waldron is heard in a quintet with trumpeter Idrees Sulieman and altoist Gigi Gryce, leading a sextet with trumpeter Bill Hardman, altoist Jackie McLean, and tenor-saxophonist John Coltrane and with a different sextet that also stars Sulieman, Coltrane, and altoist Sahib Shihab. Many of the Prestige sessions from the era were essentially jam sessions but Waldron's dates were better organized and had more challenging material. Five of the pianist's originals are among the dozen selections on this two-fer which also includes five standards and two obscurities. These hard bop performances are among Coltrane's lesser known recordings and show that, even in his early days, Mal Waldron had his style.
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