180g Audiophile Vinyl! Collector's Limited Edition Mastered by Kevin Gray!
Featuring an All-Star line-up including Norah Jones, Jane Monheit, Eric Alexander, Joe Farnsworth & more!
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.”
Collector's Limited Edition 180 gram Audiophile Vinyl pressing celebrating Harold Mabern's 80th Birthday in March 2016 includes deluxe tip-on record jacket!
The music was recorded over two days at NYC's Sear Sound and mastered for vinyl by Kevin Gray.
• Collector's Limited Edition
• 180g Audiophile Vinyl
• Mastered by Kevin Gray
• Deluxe tip-on record jacket
Harold Mabern, piano
Gregory Porter, vocals
Norah Jones, vocals
Jane Monheit, vocals
Kurt Elling, vocals
Alexis Cole, vocals
Jeremy Pelt, trumpet
Eric Alexander, tenor sax
Steve Turre, trombone
John Webber, bass
Joe Farnsworth, drums
Peter Bernstein, guitar
1. The Chief
2. Afro Blue - with Gregory Porter
3. The Man from Hyde Park - with Gregory Porter
4. Fools Rush In - with Norah Jones
5. Don't Misunderstand - with Norah Jones
6. I'll Take Romance - with Jane Monheit
7. My One and Only Love - with Jane Monheit
8. Billie's Bounce - with Kurt Elling
9. Portrait of Jennie - with Kurt Elling
10. You Needed Me - with Kurt Elling
11. Such Is Life - with Alexis Cole
12. Do It Again - with Peter Bernstein
14. Bobby, Benny, Jymie, Lee, Bu