Mal Waldron

Mal Waldron in Retrospect

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Mal Waldron is accompanied by a trio of Japanese players for this fine album, recorded in Japan in 1982. As the title suggests, it's a look back, celebrating one of Waldron's key influences, Thelonious Monk.

"Blue Monk" is given a relaxed and regal treatment, as Waldron's bedrock chording supports the higher register melody played in tandem on piano and sax. The set as a whole has a bluesy feel to it, with "I Can't Get Started" gliding along as gracefully as a solitary ice skater in a light snowfall. Waldron's varied discography has found him recording for numerous labels, especially in the '70s and '80s, and this date didn't find a U.S. release until eight years after it was recorded; however, it's well worth adding to any Waldron collection.