Harold Mabern, one of jazz's most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists and long-time HighNote sideman, steps into the spotlight as a leader on this recording full of high spirits, driving energy and great jazz. Hailing from 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 switched to piano, keeping that rhythmic drive in his keyboard technique. 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. With his long-time colleague, Eric Alexander, Mabern romps and stomps through an interesting repertoire of songs associated with, surprisingly enough, Sammy Davis Jr., for whose musicianship and his humanity the pianist has a great deal of respect and admiration. And it is the same type of musicianship and humanity which comes to the fore in Mr. Lucky, Harold Mabern's first recording as a leader for HighNote Records.
HAROLD MABERN, piano • Eric Alexander, tenor sax • John Webber, bass • Joe Farnsworth, drums
TRACKS: The People Tree • As Long as He Needs Me • Soft Shoe Trainin' with Sammy • Hey There • I've Gotta Be Me • Mr. Lucky • What Kind of Fool Am I? • Night Song • Something's Gotta Give
As Long as She Needs Me
I've Gotta Be Me