Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mal Waldron With Eric Dolphy And Booker Ervin - 1962 - The Quest

Mal Waldron With Eric Dolphy And Booker Ervin 
The Quest

01. Status Seeking
02. Duquility
03. Thirteen
04. We Diddit
05. Warm Canto
06. Warp And Woof
07. Fire Waltz

Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Eric Dolphy
Bass – Joe Benjamin
Cello – Ron Carter
Drums – Charles Persip
Piano – Mal Waldron
Tenor Saxophone – Booker Ervin

Recorded June 27, 1961.

Mal Waldron spared no expense on his musician soldiers on this soaring New Jazz outing. Mal Waldron on piano, Eric Dolphy on alto & clarinet, Booker Ervin on tenor sax, Ron Carter on the perfectly chosen cello, Joe Benjamin on bass, and Charles Persip on drums and they all shine bright! First off this album has zero sleepers. All seven tracks are arranged out to perfection. But if I had to chose my bonafide favorites, "Status Seeking" and Warm Canto" are it. This album reminds me so much of George Russell's Ezz-thetics (could be the presence of Dolphy). Although it is more contemplative and searching, yet it has the same fire in each note and thrill-ride adventure that Russell's album contains.

I am deeply addicted to 60's avant garde (as some of you might be) whether it be from the stellar Blue Note treasures or odd Contemporary or Riverside releases, this album finally is the fulfilling gem that I have been looking for! It took me way too long to find it, and you should not hesitate if you are reading these reviews to snatch it up, it is worth whatever you have to pay. Your jazz collection will thank you.

This is an unusual jazz album that I consider to be a masterpiece. The playing by everyone here is first rate, but it's the variety of instrument cominations and tempos with great melodies that really makes this a one of a kind experience. Mal Waldron on piano, Eric Dolphy on alto sax & clarinet, Booker Ervin on tenor sax(Wow, what a soloist!), Ron Carter (of the famous Miles Davis Quintet '65-'68) on cello(!), Joe Benjamin on bass & Charles Persip on drums. No two songs are cut from the same mold: there are some great alto/tenor sax duels with considerable fire, gentle ballads featuring Ron Carter's excellent plucked or tightly bowed cello, one track featuring Eric Dolphy on clarinet and so forth...every track brings something new & interesting to the mix. The tempos differ considerably as well: a fine mixture of gentle ballads and some considerably explosive bop. All in all a great listen and easily recommended!

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