Harold Mabern

For Phineas

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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.

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