6

George Cables: Icons and Influences

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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.

As most listeners would assume, several of Cables' influences are fellow pianists, and those remembered here include Cedar Walton, Bill Evans, Mulgrew Miller, Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington. While Nat Cole, acknowledged with "The Very Thought of You," was also a pianist, Cables says he was inspired more by Cole's vocal talents, along with those of Tony Bennett, on Ray Noble's venerable standard. "Nature Boy," he writes, was prompted not by Cole but by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's instrumental version. Other tenors represented are Benny Golson ("Blue Heart") and Joe Henderson ("Isotope") as well as vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson ("Little B's Poem"). Cables plumbs his own early years with "Happiness," the "first tune [he] wrote" while in his early 20s, and Trinidadian Lord Kitchener's "Mo' Pan," one of the many calypso tunes Cables played or heard while growing up in Brooklyn and Queens, NY.

Whatever the source, the salient point is that every one of these tunes shines like a polished gem in Cables' masterful hands. Tempos are flawless, interpretations admirable, ad-libs smooth and persuasive, the framework lucid and sunny yet emphatic when need be, as on "Isotope" or "Mo' Pan." As for the comfort zone, it is spacious, thanks to the unwavering resilience of bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Victor Lewis whose cozy shelter is always close at hand. In every instance, Cables lays bare the unique essence of his role models, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Brubeck's "The Duke," Evans' "Very Early" or his own compositions, "Cedar Walton" and "Mulgrew Miller."

Dedications aside, this is a splendid trio session led by one of the jazz world's more proficient and accessible contemporary pianists. Full credit to Cables, Douglas and Lewis for a job well done.

Track Listing: Cedar Walton; Farewell Mulgrew; Happiness; The Duke; Come Sunday; Little B’s Poem; Nature Boy; Very Early; Isotope; The Very Thought of You; Mo’ Pan; Blue Heart.

Personnel: George Cables: piano; Dezron Douglas: bass; Victor Lewis: drums.

Title: Icons and Influences | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: HighNote Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Another North" CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Resting in a Fold of the Fog" CD/LP/Track Review Resting in a Fold of the Fog
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.