Reviews that mention Mal Waldron

August 6, 2012

Label Spotlight

SLAM Productions
By Ken Waxman

Serendipity not strategy led to the birth of the British label SLAM 23 years ago, which since that time, from its base in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford, has grown to a catalogue of almost 160 releases from European, South and North American improvisers.

SLAM simply came about when journeyman multi-reedist George Haslam, who at 50 had played with everyone from ‘30s dance band trumpeter Nat Gonella to free music trombonist Paul Rutherford decided he wanted to release a disc of solo baritone saxophone improvisations. “I made a couple of LPs on Spotlite with my group, but I wanted to make a solo improvised recording and I knew this would not fit with Spotlite whose beginnings had been with Charlie Parker,” he recalls. “I spoke to Eddie Prevost [who runs the Matchless label] and others, coming to the conclusion that the best way to do this and have complete control, was to do it myself. Eddie advised me to do a CD, not an LP – which, in 1989, was excellent advice. In the event I recorded an album of solos and duos with Paul Rutherford called 1989 - and all that”. MORE

May 3, 2002

JOHNNY DYANI/MAL WALDRON

Some Jive Ass Boer
Jazz Unité 102

There’s a certain irony in the title, booklet notes and performance of expatriate South African bassist Johnny Dyani on this duo CD shared with expatriate American pianist Mal Waldron.

Recorded in Paris in 1981, more than 15 years after the bassist fled the repressive apartheid regime for England and the Continent -- where he would die five years later -- here he vocally rages against South African (Boer) oppression and urges Westerners to boycott the country.

Slightly more than two decades later the same country has a democratically elected multi-racial government, which until recently had been headed by then-imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, subject of a Waldron-penned blues here. Oppression is rife in neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and the Congo, with homegrown dictators revealing themselves as bloodthirsty and corrupt as former colonial masters. MORE