George Cables

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George Cables is widely recognized as a first call sideman, though the pianist has also recorded extensively as a leader. This 1995 session for Steeplechase is one of the rare times where he had a chance to record as a solo pianist. He avoids predictability in his interpretation of the oft-recorded "My Funny Valentine," beginning the piece in mid-song and offering a lush arrangement. Likewise, "On Green Dolphin Street" can sound hackneyed in the wrong hands, but his imaginative bassline makes the difference. Cables is equally impressive as an interpreter of well known jazz compositions. Benny Golson's "I Remember Clifford" incorporates double-time passages to keep the piece from becoming maudlin, while his playful take of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" is a virtuoso performance. Cables' originals include the driving, insistent "I Told You So" (which deserves amusing lyrics) and the powerful "Sweet Rita Suite," which has a tantalizing Latin undercurrent.

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