RONALD MULDROW – Yesterdays (USA, 1994)
Since the previous post brought us into the realm of soul jazz & hard bop, I may continue in that line for a few more postings. Here for instance is a top-notch guitar-player who departed this world much too soon and had never received the wider recognition his talent deserved: a guitar-player who had played or recorded with the likes of Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Chico Hamilton, Ramsey Lewis, Michael Brecker, Billy Higgins and countless others.
This guitarist is the late Ronald Muldrow.
Ronald Muldrow was born in Chicago on February 2, 1949. As a teen he was greatly influenced by the likes of guitarists Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Phil Upchurch and George Benson. Muldrow developed his own voice, resplendent with crisp, fresh licks and acute dexterity. His earliest big breaks came during his stints with Eddie Harris and the Staple Singers. He described Eddie Harris as his "musical father."
Muldrow was not only a highly acclaimed musician, but he was also a dedicated educator, having earned bachelors (jazz studies) and masters (studio and jazz guitar) degrees at Roosevelt University and University of Southern California respectively. He also published guitar instruction books, another legacy he left for aspiring guitarists.
He died on January 31, 2007. He was only 57.
The discogrqphy on Discogs is very incomplete and hardly list any of the albums he recorded as leader. AMG is somewhat better and list the five albums he recorded as a leader during his lifetime. A sixth one, Mapenzi, was issued posthumously in 2003.
"Yesterdays" is his second album (but first on the Enja label) and it features the legendary Melvin Rhyne, the original organist with the Wes Montgomery trio. Victor Campbell is on drums.
My favourite track is the album starter, a real groover and a tribute to his musical father: Eddie Harris’ Sham time.
- Sham Time
- Swedish Schnapps
- My One and Only Love
- Besame Mucho
- Love for Sale
- Groovin' High
- Walkin' My Baby Back Home
OOP. This album is no longer in Enja catalogue.
See Ronald Muldrow playing live with Eddie Harris in Germany, 1990: