Monday, March 10, 2014

Harold Mabern Right On Time Smoke Sessions 2014

Harold Mabern: Harold Mabern: Right On Time
Age is mind over matter, if you don't mind then age don't matter!
Brent Black /
Harold Mabern is a Manhattan fixture. When in Rome...Go to one of the finest clubs in the Big Apple, Smoke! Right On Time pops with that warm analog feel while embracing an intimacy only found from a live gig. The trio is tight with John Webber on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums.
There are a few nits to pick...Seventies music sound worse when reharmed for an improvisational riff then it does as a dated original and "Dance With Me" is certainly no exception. A reharm of arguably one of the worst shows on TV in Laverne & Shirley with "Making Our Dreams Come True" crashes and burns quickly. The modal of "My Favorite Things" is solid but forgettable. High points more than make up for any potential stumbles as "The Nearness of You" allows Mabern to stretch out and the foot to the floor "Seven Steps To Heaven"  should have some pianists quitting the business.
Harold Mabern is 77, not an issue. Some questionable tunes are an issue but Mabern's amazing artistry pulls the trio back from the brink on numerous occasions. Somewhere past better than average is fair.
3.5 Stars
Tracks: Dance With Me; Seven Steps to Heaven; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; My Favorite Things; To You; Edward Lee; Making Our Dreams Come True; Charade; Blues For Frank 'n' Paul 'n' All; The Nearness of You; Cherokee.
Personnel: Harold Mabern: Piano; John Webber: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.