Friday, January 25, 2008

NY All-Star Benefit Concerts for George Cables, Jan 25 & 26

The New York All-Star Benefit for George Cables

$25 per set and $10 minimum
88 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-3626
Reservations are strongly advised

Kenny Barron
Randy Brecker
Michael Carvin
Joe Chambers
Sonny Fortune
Billy Harper
Winard Harper
Louis Hayes
Vincent Herring
Pete Laroca
Peter Leitch
Victor Lewis
Ronnie Mathews
Cecil McBee
Eric Reed
Rufus Reid
James Spaulding
Steve Turre
Cedar Walton
Buster Williams
Steve Wilson
Lenny White
Reggie Workman

In the Fall of 2007, pianist and composer George Cables received a kidney and liver transplant. While he is recuperating at home in Queens, NY, it will be many months before he'll be able to perform again. The Jazz community in New York is holding this very special benefit for 2 nights only at Sweet Rhythm with all musicians donating their time. Each set is an admission of $25 which goes directly to George Cables.

If you can't attend, and would like to contribute please visit: . The George Cables Healing Fund has been set up where all contributions (with the exception of PayPal deductions) go directly to George, or you can send a check in any amount payable to:
245 West 25th St. #2F
New York, NY 10001

I have been a big fan of George Cables since I listened to his outstanding performance (playing Fender Rhodes!) on Freddie Hubbard's "Keep Your Soul Together" album for CTI, back in 1974. He is also featured on a great extended version of "Son of Sky Dive" included on Hubbard's compilation of out-takes "Polar AC". Also from that same album, a luxurious rendition of "People Make The World Go Round", arranged by Bob James, was included in the best-selling 1997 CD compilation "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves", produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro.

Some other personal favorite albums are Cables' own 1985 trio album "Phantom of the City" for Contemporary, his duo session with Frank Morgan on the "Double Image" CD, plus many sideman dates such as Joe Henderson's underrated masterpiece of the early '70s "Black is the Color" (Milestone) and Dexter Gordon's ultra-lush "Sophisticated Giant" (Columbia), not to mention the appearances with Art Pepper, Roy Haynes, Joe Farrell, Max Roach, Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Rollins and many others.

Born in New York City in 1944, when Cables was going to school , he used to walk the streets at night, taking in the cosmopolitan sights and sounds, mentally recording his encounters with "so many different kinds of people." In his musical career as well, Cables has prowled sidestreets and main thoroughfares in relative anonymity, absorbing countless influences into his personal style.
Cables was classically trained as a youth, and when he started at the "Fame"-worthy New York High School of Performing Arts, he admittedly "didn't know anything about jazz." But he was soon smitten with the potential for freedom of expression he heard in jazz. The young Cables was impressed by such keyboardists as Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, but, as he points out, "I never really listened to pianists when I was coming up. I would probably say I've been more influenced by Miles or Trane and their whole bands rather than by any single pianist. The concept of the music is more important than listening to somebody's chops, somebody's technique, The Way Miles' band held together, it was just like magic. You were transported to another world."

Cables attended Mannes College of Music for two years, and by 1964 he was playing in a band called The Jazz Samaritans which included such rising stars as Billy Cobham, Lenny White, and Clint Houston. Gigs around New York at the Top of the Gate, Slugs, and other clubs attracted attention to Cables' versatility and before long he had recorded with tenor saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, played on Max Roach's Lift Every Voice and Sing and earned a brief 1969 tenure at the piano bench with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

A 1969 tour with tenor titan Sonny Rollins took Cables to the West Coast. By 1971 he became a significant figure in the jazz scenes of Los Angeles, where he first resided, and San Francisco, where he also lived. Collaborations and recordings with tenor saxophonists Rollins (Next Album) and Joe Henderson, trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw (Blackstone Legacy), and vibist Bobby Hutcherson made Cables' wide-ranging keyboard skills, often on electric piano, amply evident. Demand for his sensitive accompaniment increased and by the end of the 1970s, Cables was garnering a reputation as everyone's favorite sideman.

Perhaps the most pivotal turn came when hard bop legend Dexter Gordon invited Cables into his quartet in 1977. The two years he spent with the reappreciated tenor giant ignited Cables's passion for the acoustic piano and rimmersed him in the bebop vocabulary. "I don't feel that one should be stuck in the mud playing the same old stuff all the time, trying to prove that this music is valid," Cables says. "We don't need to prove anything. But I think you really have to be responsive to your heritage and then go on and find your own voice."

The longest standing relationship Cables developed in the late seventies was with alto saxophonist Art Pepper. Cables, who Pepper called "Mr. Beautiful," became Art's favorite pianist, appearing on many quartet dates for Contemporary and Galaxy, and joining Art for the extraordinary duet album, Goin' Home, that would be Pepper's final recording session.

George has performed and recorded with some of the greatest jazz musicians of his time, including: Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Dizzy Gillespie.

George Cables has emerged as a major voice in modern jazz. He's recorded as a soloist, with trio and larger ensembles. In addition to composing and arranging for his own albums, George Cables has contributed to recordings by many other jazz performers. He is noted for his fresh interpretations of classic compositions, and for his innovative style of

For complete bio, discography and contribute, please visit

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