Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron, Left Alone Revisited: A Tribute To Billie Holiday (Synergy)

There’s almost none of them left. Those who create music so achingly human that you can feel their black and blue experience deep into the recesses of your soul. Nina Simone went on home. We just lost Oscar Brown, Jr. and Mal Waldron left us, too. We still have Jimmy Scott, and thankfully, we still have Archie Shepp. Like those great rare ones, Ben Webster and Lester Young, Shepp cries all our silent tears through his saxophone. His sound is raw, tender and soul-stirring. You need to hear this music. This music was not created for your listening “pleasure.” This music is going to tear your heart out. It was created by two souls with a deep history in the jazz life and an enormous amount of respect for the legacy of that most delicate song-flower, Billie Holiday. Pianist Mal Waldron spent his formative years accompanying the rapidly deteriorating diva towards the end of her career. She left her mark on him and Shepp channels the ghost of Lester Young with this long goodbye kiss to end of jazz as he knew it. Left Alone Revisited: A Tribute To Billie Holiday is utterly beautiful and tremendously moving.