4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is quite a month for fans of jazz from the Black Saint/Soul Note label. Along with this set, there's also sets from the "World Saxophone Quartet", Jimmy Giuffre, and Don Pullen. The discs slip inside reprints of the original album covers, which fit inside a heavy cardboard outer box. The sound is very good on all these sets-this one is no exception. The notes on the back of the album covers, or on the back of the outer box, is the only information included.
Waldron has played with musicians like Mingus, the great tenor player Ike Quebec, and Billie Holiday, among others. Waldron, like many other jazz musicians, moved to Europe for better living/playing conditions, and the move seemed to have altered his sound. His playing became harder, more sharply defined with an edge to it. He's (sadly) another example of a fine musician who was much underrated in the U.S.-hence the move to Europe. It's sad when musicians of his caliber feel that their music and living conditions would immensely improve in another country.
This Waldron collection ranks alongside both the David Murray and WORLD SAXOPHONE QUARTET BOX sets as one of the best in this series. The music is subtle yet ambitious, intellectual, emotive, and evocative-and just plain beautiful. It subtly sneaks up on you, culminating in a wave of sound that's exciting and powerful-time after time. The lengthy compositions (throughout this set) give the entire band ample room to roam and build to a sometimes roaring climax. This set and the two mentioned above (along with a couple of others), are well worth waiting the apparently long time to own.
"The Git Go" and "The Seagulls of Kristiansund" are both live sets from the Village Vanguard in N.Y. Personnel include Waldron, Charlie Rouse-tenor sax/flute, Woody Shaw-trumpet/flugelhorn, Reggie Workman-bass, and the great Ed Blackwell-drums. Both albums contain long compositions by Waldron. His playing was rarely superfluous, and here Waldron plays in the same manner. His choice of notes is enough to map out the composition for the other players to embellish. No matter the tempo, Waldron seems to play just the right notes. Listen to the tile track ("Git-Go"), and "The Seagulls..." ("The Seagulls...") for a good example of his playing in a beautiful tempo. On the up tempo tunes he plays with an assurance that's easy to hear because his playing had reached a new level, but there's (of course) shades of his time with Mingus.
The horn players too, are on fine form here. Shaw, not too well known for his visceral attack on the music, solos with some abandon, while Rouse plays it economical, yet tight in all the right places. The overall effect is very nice, with both horn players working well together. The relatively slow build up of sound adds to the music, adding a subtle tension that's very effective. This slow shift in density is what makes these two sets worth hearing, with the second album possibly a bit more exciting. Both are well worth owning.
"Crowd Scene" and "Where Are You?" both feature the same personnel. Besides Waldron, there's Ricky Ford on tenor, Sonny Fortune on alto sax, Eddie Moore on drums, and Reggie Workman on bass. The first album consists of larger pieces of music, which takes the individual contributions from the other musicians and blends them into a collective, subtle whole. The long track, "Yin and Yang" ("Crowd...") is a little more restrained than the first track on this album. The horn players are used to good effect-playing both with and against one another, which forms a pretty powerful musical statement. The solos from Fortune, Ford, and Workman are especially fine throughout both of these sets.
"Where Are You?" is a close second to "Crowd...". Included is a second, longer, take of the title track, which is well worth hearing. The playing is of such quality that having two versions of the title track doesn't really matter. While not substantially different, this band is of such a high caliber that having this extra version is just icing on the cake. "Waltz For Marianne" is, likewise, a beautiful piece of music-especially Workman's (for some reason relatively underrated) playing. As with the other albums in this set, these two albums are well worth owning. The writing, arranging, and playing are second to none. And each has the unmistakable stamp of Waldron.
This is (like the other sets in this series) yet another box set well worth owning. I would like to know why some of Waldron's albums were not included. They too contain some equally fine music from this fine musician. Too bad-but I'm glad that some of Waldron's best albums have seen the light of day for those of us who own only the vinyl. Another box set to add to your wish list of good jazz from these two labels. You might (if you haven't already) check out some of Waldron's earlier work under his name and/or with Eric Dolphy. "The Quest" is a good album by Waldron, as are the volumes at The Five Spot with Dolphy
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
The four albums recorded by Soul Notes are greats. Two of them are for the same concert at Village Vanguard in 1986 with Woody Shaw, Charles Rouse, Regie Workman and Ed Blackwell. Great group, great concert. Only five themes in two CD, incredible improvisation a very good recorded. "The git go" and "The seagull of Kristiansund" are pure jazz in live. The other two; "Crowd Scene" and "Where are you" are from the same studio session in june of 1989 with Sonny Fortune, with incredible solos, Rick Ford, Reggie Workman and Eddie More, six composition of Mal Waldron in great moment. The four alums are for a period of time during he lives in Europe but make large gigs in USA. I think are a excellent example of Mal Waldron music. He is one of the finest piano player in jazz and a great composer. A incredible opportunity to have one of the best recording of Waldron in one box and a very good price.