David Murray & Mal Waldron: Soul Eyes
Silence (Justin Time 186)
Recorded: Brussels, October 5-6, 2001
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
"Soul Eyes" is Mal Waldron's most famous composition, recorded by John Coltrane on Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors from 1957, and given a quasi-definitive interpretation by the same artist on the 1962 Coltrane LP. Here, a year before his death on December 2, 2002, Waldron collaborates with David Murray on a rich and wide-ranging exploration of "Soul Eyes," which is featured as the concluding track on the 2008 Justin Time duet release Silence. Over the course of 14 minutes, Murray and Waldron create a wondrous ebb-and-flow, moving from restrained lyricism to four-to-the-bar swing to pointillistic introspection before concluding with wide, sweeping bass clarinet lines over Waldron's aggressive pedal-point comping. A fitting memorial to a much missed artist.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia