Mal Waldron was a remarkably versatile piano player, able to work in many different contexts, from Billie Holiday to Eric Dolphy. This ability made him invaluable as musical director for Prestige Records, where the recording dates were often little more than jam sessions. Soul Eyes: The Mal Waldron Memorial Album collects 11 tracks, recorded between 1955 and 1962, that Waldron played on and/or led, including a mammoth version of the title cut, featuring John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, and others, that clocks in at 17-plus minutes. Although all the cuts have been previously released (not always under Waldron's name), it's nice to have this overview of one of his most fertile periods.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard