Pianist Mal Waldron's music is characterized by a heavily-brooding rhythmic quality, with the left hand usually carrying the theme at one repetitious tempo while the right hammers away in juxtaposition with a counter tempo (usually faster). Such was the case with "Up Popped the Devil," "Snake Out" and "Changachangachang," three very Waldronian pieces in both structure and execution, the latter deriving its melody from the whole-tone scale. Aside from Waldron, the record's strongest points were bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Billy Higgins, their work being sensitive and supportive throughout.
A classic of The Royal Ballet, La Fille mal gardée was an immediate hit with the British public. Choreographed by Frederick Ashton in 1960, it is a highly lyrical and technically demanding take on the simple tale of ‘love prevailing’ which underpins this charming story. It was created by French ballet master Jean Dauberval and was first danced in 1789. This 2015 revival is a ‘company triumph’ (Independent), with principals Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae creating terrific onstage chemistry and delivering outstanding solo performances – Osipova as a ‘perky and gamine Lise’ with ‘pin-drop precise’ phrasing (Guardian), and McRae an instantly likeable, playful Colas whose physical articulation is ‘particularly Ashtonian’ in quality (Daily Telegraph). They are joined by Philip Mosley as Widow Simone, who brings ‘music-hall gusto’ (Independent) to the famous clog dance of Act I.
The equality, the almost perfect balance in complement and contrast, of the musical collaboration between Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron was palpable in both its internal and external workings … These four CDs, captured live in Paris in 1981, are notable as the first documentation of their performances as a duo, a particularly felicitous exploration of common interests and uncommon talents, initiating an intermittent series of duo recordings that would span thirteen years, varying repertoire, and several labels, but never venture far from the groundwork that was established here.
Live recording of two jazz legends Max Roach (drums) and Mal Waldron (piano), at the concert held to celebrate Mal Waldron's 70th birthday. Recorded at the Desingel Arts Centre, Antwerp, Belgium, 20 September 1995. Featuring a comfortable duo between one of the kings of bebop, Max Roach, and master genre-bender Mal Waldron, this two-CD set contains a complete concert in honor of the pianist's 70th birthday. (Actually, there is also a bonus track of a cut recorded before the concert.) The 30 pieces are mostly fully improvised and flow into one another flawlessly.
Ever since it’s triumphant premiere in January 1960, Frederick Ashton's La fille mal gardée has been esteemed as one of his happiest creations. This is a charming piece, elegantly performed, a village love affair set in the idyllic Constable landscape of Ashton's imagination. Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta would be show-stoppers in almost any suitable role, but as Lise and Colas they are superb. William Tuckett and Jonathan Howells, in the comic roles of Simone and Alain respectively, are every bit as arresting, both displaying a certain genius for knockabout.