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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Cables: Icons and Influences

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When a jazz musician has been around as long as pianist George Cables, and has seen, heard and performed with so many other world-class musicians, such interactions are bound to leave a lasting impression, and on the trio date Icons and Influences Cables warmly salutes a number of those who have helped frame his musical persona and escorted him along a journey of wonder and discovery that has enabled him to become the superbly talented artist he is today.

INTERVIEWS

George Cables: The Pianist’s Dedication to the Group

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Anyone who is serious about jazz will tell you that George Cables belongs in the pantheon of the greatest jazz pianists. Everyone, that is, except George Cables. Exceptional in every way, he is yet a team player. He sees himself as part of the rhythm section, and has always emphasized the group over the soloist. He has worked extensively since the late 1960s with many of the legends: Art Blakey, Art Pepper, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Dexter Gordon, to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Cables: My Muse

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Pianist George Cables' relationship with the late Helen Wray must have been one joyous romance. Contrary to the expectations of an album dedicated to a departed loved one, My Muse is a collection of uplifting and, frankly, happy-sounding originals and standards. Take away the personal context and you'd swear Cables and company were just enjoying the gig.Cables is an elegant pianist. He has the rare capability to play with great drama, but without ever becoming hard or abrasive. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Cables: Morning Song

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Morning Song, a recently discovered live set from 1980 led by the great George Cables, is a tale of two gigs. While the quartet performances are middling, Cables' overall dynamism, particularly on his solo piano turns, lifts the disc above mediocrity. The rhythm section of Cables, bassist John Heard and drummer Sherman Ferguson, is excellent, with the leader constantly inspiring Heard and Ferguson to meet his harmonic challenges. Heard's pizzicato on “Up Jumped Spring" is luminous; it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Cables: You Don't Know Me

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When George Cables sat at a bright red Steinway at the Society for Ethical Culture during the 2008 JVC Jazz Festival this past June and played his first notes of the evening, it was immediately clear that his recent illnesses, surgeries and convalescence had not blunted his enviable skills. He played an excellent set that night, selecting most of the tunes from his solo double-CD You Don't Know Me, an ambitious and impressive mix of spirituals, originals and standards.

INTERVIEWS

George Cables: Back in Action

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Throughout his more than four decades playing jazz, pianist George Cables has been among the most sought after, dependable and talented players on the scene. Born in New York City on November 14, 1944, Cables cut his teeth barely out of his teens and hasn't looked back, appearing on hundreds of recordings. Whether a sideman for a timeless luminary, taking the lead with his own band or playing solo, Cables' aggressive, flowing style and distinctive sound have made him a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Cables: Morning Song

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George Cables doesn't get talked about too much anymore. Although he was prominent enough in the 70s to play with Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, and Freddie Hubbard, he has since disappeared somewhat from the mainstream scene. Consequently, HighNote's release of Morning Song, a collection of Cables' 1980 performances from San Francisco's The Keystone Korner, is an important artifact. Although the commercial sound of late 70s jazz can feel dated and contrived, it is a valuable reminder of the way things ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Red Mitchell / George Cables: Live at Port Townsend

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Piano/bass duos are not as commonplace as piano/bass/drums trios, probably because duos rarely make up a regularly working group. That doesn't mean that the frequently one-off recordings by duos aren't of immense interest. The remarkable duo concert featuring bassist Red Mitchell and pianist George Cables (who had never played together) turned out to be Mitchell's final recording, made only a few months prior to his death in 1992. No rehearsal took place, aside from a brief discussion ...



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