PERFORMER: Harold Mabern (p); Christian McBride, Ron Carter (b); Jack DeJohnette (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 477288 2
Jazz has always been guilty of pursuing the future at the expense of the past. Currently, unreasonable expectation is raised by record company press offices in their latest youthful signings. But very often the results are no more than an invitation to jump aboard their learning curve as they search for an individual voice among assimilated influences.
There’s nothing wrong in young talent getting record contracts, but all too often the ‘forty-somethings’ who have reached artistic maturity are passed over. Cause for celebration, then, that the rugged, forthright and wholly individual Mabern (59) has a disc to himself on a major label. The years of experience shine through in this graceful and at times exhilarating set. And he hands out a lesson in that most basic ingredient in jazz, swing. Stuart Nicholson