|Composition by Mal Waldron from the album Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors|
|Recorded||March 22, 1957|
"Soul Eyes" is a composition, with lyrics, written by Mal Waldron. It is a 32-bar ballad that takes the song form ABAC, and is written in 4/4 time. It was first recorded on March 22, 1957, for the album Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors. One of the tenor saxophonists on that recording was John Coltrane, who brought the song back to attention by recording it in 1962 for his album Coltrane, when he had become more famous. This was only the second ever recording of the song, which has since become "part of the basic repertory of jazz performers" – a jazz standard. Waldron wrote the piece with Coltrane in mind: "I liked Coltrane's sound and I thought the melody would fit it".
Since these early versions, the song has been recorded hundreds of times. Further notable versions include those by Art Farmer on a 1991 album named after the song; Stan Getz with Kenny Barron on the album People Time in the same year; and the composer with David Murray in 2001 on the album Silence. The first vocal version is reported to have been that on Vanessa Rubin's debut album in 1992; another comparatively rare vocal version, featuring Jeanne Lee, is available on Waldron's 1997 album entitled Soul Eyes.
- Ratliff, Ben (December 06, 2002) "Mal Waldron, 77, Composer Of the Jazz Ballad 'Soul Eyes'" New York Times
- Levine, Mark (1995) The jazz theory book. Sher Music, p. 388.
- Gioia, Ted (2012) The jazz standards: a guide to the repertoire. Oxford University Press, pp. 388-390.
- Wilson, John S. (November 13, 1981) "Mal Waldron Back in a Solo Concert" New York Times, p. C17.
- "Soul Eyes" AllMusic
- "Soul Eyes" Jazz.com
- New Pittsburgh Courier (April 08, 1992) "Vanessa Rubin Steps Out Strong As Jazz Vocalist With 'Soul Eyes' Album"
- Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004) The Rough Guide to Jazz (3rd ed.). Rough Guides, p. 824.