Born in the U.S. in 1925, pianist/composer Mal WALDRON studied piano and composition with Karl RATHAUS at Queens College in New York.
He makes his first apperances with Big Nick NICHOLAS, Ike QUEBEC and rhythm 'n blues bands.
Fron 1954 to 1957 he is the regular pianist of the Charles MINGUS Jazz Composers Workshop.
Between 1957 and 1959 he is the pianist of the legendary singer Billie HOLLIDAY.
As the house pianist for Prestige records, he gets the opportunity to record with Jackie McLEAN, John COLTRANE, Eric DOLPHY, etc.
He leads his own band with Eric DOLPHY at the Five Spot.
1960-1962 : plays with drummer Max ROACH and singer Abbey LINCOLN.
In 1965, he settles in Europe. Frequently associated with soprano saxophonist Steve LACY, he also performs with singer Jeanne LEE and saxophonist Marion BROWN.
Every year, he tours in the US as well as in Japan, where he is very popular.
1995 : Memorial tour for Hiroshima, 70th birthday tour with a.o. Max ROACH.
Film director Tom OVERBERGHE made "Mal", a film around his personnality.
Mal WALDRON also composed film music : "The Cool World", "Trois chambres à Manhattan", "Love Sweet Bitter", "Tokyo Blues".
As a composer, he signed very well known pieces, such as "Soul Eyes" (recorded a.o. by John COLTRANE) and "Left Alone".
A SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY
(+ a few more albums on top of page, click on discography)
"The Quest" with Eric Dolphy & Booker Ervin
"Mal 2" (Original Jazz Classics)
"Mal 3 Sounds" (Original Jazz Classics)
"Mal 4 Trio" (Original Jazz Classics)
"Impressions" (New Jazz)
"The Seagulls of Kristiansund" (Soul Note)
"Update" (Soul Note)
"Free at last" (ECM) in trio
"Left Alone" (Paddle Wheel) with Jackie McLean
"Songs of Love and Regret (Freelance), with Marion Brown
with Jeanne Lee "Travellin' In Soul Time"
with Judy Niemack "Miles, Monk & Mal" (Freelance)
Waldron/Lacy "Sempre Amore" (Soul Note)
Waldron/Lacy "Communique" (Soul Note)
Waldron/Lacy "Super Quartet" (Soul Note)
Waldron/Lacy "One-Upmanship" (Enja)
Waldron/Lacy/Avenel "One more time" (Sketch Records)
"Soul eyes" (RCA BMG)
"Blues for Lady Day" (Black Lion)
Archie Shepp / Mal Waldron "Left Alone Revisited" (Enja)
Charles Mingus "Pinthecantropus Erectus" (Atlantic)
Eric Dolphy "At the Five Spot" (Prestige/New Jazz)
Max Roach "It's Time" (Impulse) etc...
N.B.: During the last years of his life, Mal WALDRON lived in Brussels, Belgium.
Mal WALDRON died on December 2, 2002, in a Brussels hospital.