Revisited and remastered, with additional takes, texts and photos, here is the very first ECM session, recorded in November 1969, featuring the great American pianist Mal Waldron, whose resume included work with Coltrane, Mingus, Dolphy and Billie Holiday. As Jazz Journal noted, "the music sounds as fresh now as the day it was recorded". Indeed, the tersely-grooving "Boo" and "Rock My Soul" could be club hits half a century later. This Extended Anniversary Edition is issued as an audiophile vinyl double LP.
"...Waldron would experience enormous personal upheavals between 1963 and the 1969 session that produced Free at Last, but his style never really changed. And though he called this his first foray into free jazz, it sounds very "inside" for the most part, leaning almost as heavily on repetition as "new Age" musicians would, but retaining the driving swing and rich, bluesy harmonic vocabulary of the hard boppers. ECM has released a 50th anniversary expanded edition of this, its first release, and the 2LP...set looks and sounds beautiful. There is not that much added material, but it's great to see this classic record given such deluxe repackaging. " - Duck Baker, The Absolute Sound, July/August 2020
This double LP reissue, which sounds absolutely smashing on this new pressing, comes with a bonus LP of alternate takes of tracks from the session as well as an even longer and more luminous version of 'Willow Weep For Me' that is [a] further showcase for Waldron's gentle way with this melody and how he bent it at the corners and edges.
- Extended Anniversary Edition
- Double LP
- Gatefold jacket
- Rat Now
- Rock My Soul
- Willow Weep For Me
- 1-3-234 [Var.]
- Balladina [Var.]
- Boo [Var.]
- Willow Weep For Me [Long Version]
Recorded November 24, 1969 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg