Afro Blue (feat. Gregory Porter)
The Man from Hyde Park (feat. Gregory Porter)
Fools Rush In (feat. Norah Jones)
Don’t Misunderstand (feat. Norah Jones)
I’ll Take Romance (feat. Jane Monheit)
My One and Only Love (feat. Jane Monheit)
Billie’s Bounce (feat. Kurt Elling)
Portrait of Jennie (feat. Kurt Elling)
You Needed Me (feat. Kurt Elling)
Such Is Life (feat. Alexis Cole)
Do It Again (feat. Peter Bernstein)
Bobby, Benny, Jymie, Lee, Bu
About The Album
HAROLD MABERN’S SECOND RELEASE on Smoke Sessions Records, Afro Blue, is a very special recording featuring guest vocalists Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Jane Monheit, Kurt Elling, and Alexis Cole. The chemistry of these artists with Harold—the sound of his piano voicings combined with their voices—is extraordinary. Well-known in jazz circles as a consummate accompanist for instrumental soloists, The Mabe also has a special gift for sensitive and supportive playing behind singers. It’s something he takes pride in and has been doing since he first hit the stage at Birdland half a century ago with Betty Carter. “I love vocalists. I love to play for singers because that’s really how you learn how to play the piano jazz-wise. They go through every aspect of music— changing keys, slow tempos to fast, playing rubato, playing verses, all of the Great American Songbook—that’s really how you learn how to play,” says Mabern. There is a lot of music and there are a lot of memorable performances on Afro Blue but Mabern’s soulful, blues-driven style is the constant highlight. He is joined by a stellar supporting cast—Jeremy Pelt, Eric Alexander and Steve Turre form a killer horn section while John Webber and Joe Farnsworth complete his reliable rhythm team. Guitarist Peter Bernstein also makes a special appearance on Steely Dan’s “Do It Again.” Mabern adds, I’ll tell you, it was really the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It was definitely a challenge, but I think we pulled it off. I’m quite pleased with it, you know.” Afro Blue is available for purchase as an 8-panel deluxe CD album complete with 2,000-word artist interview and additional photos, as a Mastered for iTunes download with digital booklet, or as an audiophile 96khz/24bit digital download.
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