Happy Birthday to George Cables — the pianist Art Pepper called “Mr. Beautiful”

November 14th, 2013

cablesvision

George Cables is 69 years old today.  The great bebop pianist — who played with Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper (who called him “Mr. Beautiful”), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, and countless others — continues to be an important contributor to jazz, but especially so during the 1970’s, when bebop was not the easiest musical genre to find on recordings of the time.  When I was breaking into the record business in the late 1970’s, his Contemporary Records recording Cables Vision was a fixture on my turntable — a record that featured Hubbard on trumpet, Ernie Watts on sax, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, and Peter Erskine on drums.  To this day it sounds fresh and invigorating and irresistible.  George came through Portland last year, where he played at the Portland Jazz Festival — in a solo recital performance, as well as with an ensemble of Art Blakey graduates.  Fabulous stuff…

_____

Listen to “Inner Glow” from Cables’ Vision

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2 comments on “Happy Birthday to George Cables — the pianist Art Pepper called “Mr. Beautiful””

  1. When Dexter Gordon and George Cables recorded all those ballads on Nights at the Keystone Korner (1979-80?), they made it sound like the only way to play them. Those sounds linger forever.

    1. I am pretty sure I saw Dexter at Keystone in ’75 or ’76, although I don’t have a memory about whether or not George Cables was on the bandstand with him. I also saw him in Portland in the late 70’s, so it could be he was on a late 70’s tour you are recalling. My memory is a little foggy but I think Cables played the Portland gig.

      I just saw George at the Portland Jazz Festival last February, both in concert with a Blakey/Jazz Messengers tribute band (killer performance), but also at a solo recital in a SE Portland performance space.

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