Harold Mabern is one of many American jazz artists who have found a lucrative market for their recordings in Japan. This solo piano date is one of his very best efforts, opening with a hard-driving take of Bobby Timmons' hard bop masterpiece "Dat Dere," then following it with a thoughtful rendition George Shearing's unjustly obscure ballad "She." The pianist's breezy hard bop treatment of "You Don't Know What Love Is" makes one forget that it began life as a bittersweet ballad. Mabern's upbeat performance of Quincy Jones' "Wail Bait" provokes memories of Bud Powell when he was healthy. Erroll Garner's "Misty" has long been one of the most requested tunes in night club settings, though Mabern's percussive setting is quite different from the usual low-key approach. Mabern also includes a pair of originals, including his brisk "Mabern's Boogie, which would have been right at home during the genre's heyday, along with his dazzling, hard-charging "Wayne's Blues."
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden