“When I was first introduced to Stanley Crouch, more than twenty years ago, I never imagined becoming friends with him. Stanley, who died last week, at seventy-four, after a long illness, was at the height of his fame: a regular on the Charlie Rose show, a consultant to Ken Burns’s documentary on jazz, a consigliere to the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for the concert series Jazz at Lincoln Center.”
You’ve heard of Miles Davis. You’ve heard of Billie Holiday. It’s time more people knew about pensive, voluminous jazz pianist Mal Waldron. He was Billie Holiday’s pianist up until her death, and contrary to Davis’ belief that expatriate jazz musicians lost “an energy, an edge,” Waldron wrote some of his most innovative music after he left the segregated United States. Waldron believed that if Holiday had moved to Europe like he had, she could have lived a longer life, too.