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Quiet Fire

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Album Review

George Cables primarily focuses on jazz compositions in this 1994 trio session with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart. His dazzling technique is heard full force in Gary Bartz's slinky, driving blues "Uncle Bubba," while his treatment of former boss Dexter Gordon's "Fried Bananas" (based on the chord changes to the standard "It Could Happen to You") is a rollicking affair as well. Pianist John Hicks'"Naima's Love Song" isn't all that well known, but Cables' sensitive Latin interpretation, with great support from McClure and Hart's light touches make it a piece worth greater exploration in the jazz world. The trio dives headlong into Freddie Hubbard's rapid-fire modal composition "The Decrepit Fox" (a hilarious name for such a demanding piece!), turning in a fiery performance. Cables' one original, "Quiet Fire," is a cooking post-bop affair as well. The pianist's lyrical side is apparent in the standard "My Ship," while the intriguing calypso introduction to "You Stepped Out of a Dream" leads into a pulsating samba treatment. Highly recommended.


Born: 14 November 1944 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Equally skilled as a leader or as a sideman, George Cables helped to define modern mainstream jazz piano of the 1980s and '90s. When he was 18 and at Mannes College, he formed the Jazz Samaritans with Steve Grossman and Billy Cobham. Cables gained recognition during his stints with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sonny Rollins (both in 1969), Joe Henderson (1969-1971), and Freddie Hubbard (1971-1976). He was with Dexter Gordon (1976-1978) during the tenor's successful return to the United States, and...
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Quiet Fire, George Cables
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