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For Phineas (Live)

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Album Review

Duo piano performances always have the possibility of being overcrowded, too dense and a bit directionless. Fortunately, this live set from the Montreal Bistro in Toronto, Canada avoids the potential flaws. Pianists Harold Mabern and Geoff Keezer (who also comprise 2/5ths of the Contemporary Piano Ensemble) have complementary styles and blend together quite well on the set. Dedicated to Phineas Newborn, with two of Newborn's songs included ("Jate" and "While My Lady Sleeps"), there are also selections by Leroy Vinnegar, Duke Pearson ("Jeannine"), Nat Cole and Mabern ("Rakin' & Scrapin"). Mabern takes Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You" as his feature, while Keezer is showcased solo on Thad Jones' "Consummation." A swinging high-quality set within the modern mainstream.


Born: 20 March 1936 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s

One of several excellent hard bop pianists from the Memphis area, Harold Mabern has led relatively few dates through the years, but he has always been respected by his contemporaries. He played in Chicago with MJT + 3 in the late '50s and then moved to New York in 1959. Mabern worked with Jimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet (1961-1962), Donald Byrd, Miles Davis (1963), J.J. Johnson (1963-1965), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams (1966-1967), and Sarah Vaughan. During...
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For Phineas (Live), Harold Mabern
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