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Tim Berne, Chris Speed, Reid Anderson, Dave King & Harold Mabern

Read "Tim Berne, Chris Speed, Reid Anderson, Dave King & Harold Mabern" reviewed by Martin Longley

Broken Shadows The Village Vanguard March 26, 2019 Following their residency at The Village Vanguard, two-thirds of The Bad Plus remained in the club for another week, teaming up with saxophonists Tim Berne and Chris Speed to form Broken Shadows. This quartet is dedicated to the music of Ornette Coleman with a faint streak of Berne's mentor Julius Hemphill. The roots of this group came out of Spy vs Spy (Elektra, 1989), John Zorn's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: The Iron Man: Live At Smoke

Read "The Iron Man: Live At Smoke" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Hard-bopping pianist Harold Mabern may have made his recording debut in 1959 with drummer Walter Perkins' quintet and led his first session in 1968 for Blue Note on the soulful A Few Miles From Memphis but here he is, at 82, playing with straight-ahead, youthful joie de vivre on the story telling, life affirming, two-disc set The Iron Man: Live at Smoke. Working as hard as ever with his long standing trio of tenor saxophonist and former student ...

INTERVIEWS

Harold Mabern & Kirk MacDonald: The Creative Process

Read "Harold Mabern & Kirk MacDonald: The Creative Process" reviewed by Jeri Brown

Harold Mabern recently toured through Eastern Canada with a stop at St. Paul's Church as part of the Jazz East performance concert series. His duet concerts with Canadian jazz saxophonist Kirk MacDonald included stops in jny: Montreal, Moncton, Antigonish, and Sydney. Their concerts emphasize standard jazz repertoire, as well as their own original music. Mabern, one of the world's most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists, is famous across North America for his hard bop and soulful jazz piano style. Born ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Harold Mabern: Right On Time

Read "Harold Mabern: Right On Time" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

It's always cool when you get in on the ground floor of something new and exciting. That's how it feels to have spent time delving into the music being documented by a new jazz label. Since 1998, Smoke has been one of the most happening places in Manhattan to take in some live jazz. A bit secluded from other jazz venues as it is on an upper section of Broadway, Smoke nonetheless first made a name for itself back in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: Mr. Lucky

Read "Mr. Lucky" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Harold Mabern brings his happy, blues-oriented piano to bear on this upbeat homage to the great entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. Of the nine songs on the album, only two--Mabern's buoyant original, “Soft Shoe Trainin' with Sammy," and Henry Mancini's title tune--weren't closely associated with Davis. On the other hand, Mr. Lucky seems a rather peculiar name for an album devoted to Davis, as he was undeniably as talented as any entertainer of the past century but, at least in his ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: Mr. Lucky

Read "Mr. Lucky" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Pianist Harold Mabern's Mr. Lucky is a bon-bon: all sugar, with no protein or vitamins. For a veteran like Mabern, who's made some great jazz records over the years, and who can play fine blues with real grit, this one is confusing. Sure, making homage to Sammy Davis Jr. sounds like a good idea, but did it need to come off so white bread? Ok, admittedly Davis, with his frothy show tunes and mellifluous voice, was not competing with Billie ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Harold Mabern at Smoke, NYC

Read "Harold Mabern at Smoke, NYC" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Harold MabernSmokeNew York CityDecember 22, 2007

Harold Mabern performed with his piano trio three nights at Smoke, on New York's Upper West Side, the weekend before Christmas, 2007. The one-time sideman for luminaries such as Wes Montgomery, Lee Morgan and John Coltrane was accompanied by a suited white bassist and a white crew-cutted drummer. Former Mabern cohort tenor saxophonist George Coleman was in attendance, though he did not play (he preceded Wayne Shorter as tenorist ...

INTERVIEWS

Harold Mabern: Blessed

Read "Harold Mabern: Blessed" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Harold Mabern, one of jazz's most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists, was born in Memphis, a city that produced saxophonists George Coleman and Charles Lloyd, trumpeter Booker Little and pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. Mabern started out as a drummer but, under Newborn's influence, switched to piano. During his over half-century on the scene as sideman and leader, he has played with such greats as Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Blue Mitchell and Sarah Vaughan. He has been a member ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: A Few Miles From Memphis

Read "A Few Miles From Memphis" reviewed by Russ Musto

The relative dearth of dates as a leader by pianist Harold Mabern is an enigma--one made even more puzzling by the quality of this disc, a reissue of his first two records. Mabern was already in his 30s, possessing a well developed style, when he recorded these albums in 1968, and thanks to his considerable abilities as a composer and arranger, the tunes are superior to most of those heard on the many Prestige blowing sessions of this era. The ...

PROFILES

Harold Mabern and Eric Alexander: The Art of Duo

Read "Harold Mabern and Eric Alexander: The Art of Duo" reviewed by AAJ Staff

When 68-year-old pianist Harold Mabern performs with 36-year-old tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander as a duo, their age difference might lead those in the audience to assume a mentor-apprentice relationship exists between the two musicians. And that assumption is correct... up to a point.

It's true that Alexander was a student of Mabern's at William Patterson College in New Jersey in the late 1980s. But according to Mabern, he and Alexander are more than musical equals these days. In fact, Mabern ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Harold Mabern: A Few Miles From Memphis

Read "Harold Mabern: A Few Miles From Memphis" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Harold Mabern A Few Miles From Memphis Prestige 2004

A transplanted Chicagoan by way of Memphis, pianist Harold Mabern gigged with an incredible array of jazz talent during his youth. His colleagues, recounted in the liners to this recent two-fer, read like a VIP list of hard and post-bop talent: Miles Davis, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Frank Strozier, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Art Farmer... I could easily go ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: Maya With Love

Read "Maya With Love" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There are few pianists to with whom you directly associate their hometown like Harold Mabern. Rarely is his name mentioned without stating Memphis. I guess it is a tribute to the city and to Mabern’s mentor Phineas Newborn Jr. Mabern and fellow pianists Mulgrew Miller, Geoff Keezer, and James Williams paid tribute to Newborn with their Contemporary Piano Ensemble recordings The Key Players (DIW Columbia 1993) and Four Pianos For Phineas (Evidence 1996). Like Newborn, Harold Mabern has a fantastic ...


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