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ghost of miles

Harold Mabern R.I.P.

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Hard to digest this news. I am a huge fan of his music. I can't even count how many times I've seen him live as a leader or sideman. 

At a gig early this year, I did him discussing with some of the other musicians before the set started, about prostrate cancer. I don't know if he was referring to himself. 

Time to play some of his music. 

Thanks Mr. Mabern for the music.

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Helluva good run, a life definitely not wasted.

RIP, and thank you.

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From Smoke Records website.

The world is a lot less beautiful today.
It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the sad and unexpected passing of Harold Mabern. We send our deepest condolences to his family during this most difficult time, and our heartfelt sympathies to his extended musical family. Harold, you were one of a kind and we will miss you always.

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I am incredibly sad to hear about this. I have been enjoying Harold's performances so much these last few years since he started touring with Eric Alexander. He was still playing incredibly. I just saw him in a trio at the end of May and he was still playing great. I got him to sign a beautiful photo after the show. Apologies for the lousy framing & lighting.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Edited by bresna

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Saw him live in Toronto. The jazz musicians from his generations are getting fewer and fewer.

R.I.P. 

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Harold Mabern deserved to win the NEA award years ago. Too bad it never occurred.  

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Wow, very sad news.

I saw Harold play with Joe Farnsworth and John Webber at the Village Vanguard, August 2018. He sounded great.

RIP

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2 special experiences, c. 1998 with george coleman quartet LA cty musuem of art outdoor show and c. 2012 or abouts- he came w/ Eric Alexander, and encoured w/ "Rakin' n Scrapin'"

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I only remember seeing Harold Mabern perform twice, once as a sideman with George Coleman around the time that Harold's CD The Leading Man was issued, the other was here in Chattanooga, where we had two sets by a group of all stars including Harold Mabern, who was joined by Tom Harrell. A terrific evening for those who attended.

 

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Saw him with Frank Strozier at a club in Montreal more than 50 years ago.   One of the best nights of jazz listening I've ever had. 

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Strozier was also in the lineup of the George Coleman Octet with Mabern that I saw. 1979 I think.

7 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

2 special experiences, c. 1998 with george coleman quartet LA cty musuem of art outdoor show and c. 2012 or abouts- he came w/ Eric Alexander, and encoured w/ "Rakin' n Scrapin'"

That is interesting - I saw Coleman’s quartet in a free LA outdoor show in 1999 but that one had Cedar Walton on piano. The location was Pershing Square.

Edited by sidewinder

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Sad news indeed. A very elegant player.

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R.I.P. 

Saw him perform here in town three or four years ago, his energy belied his age. Quite a career. I  must admit I like his funkier playing playing on his Prestige albums and Lee Morgan's last album the best.

Edited by mikeweil

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12 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Strozier was also in the lineup of the George Coleman Octet with Mabern that I saw. 1979 I think.

That is interesting - I saw Coleman’s quartet in a free LA outdoor show in 1999 but that one had Cedar Walton on piano. The location was Pershing Square.

George Coleman/Harold Mabern/Tony Dumas (im pretty sure if im remembering correctly)/Billy Higgins

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The cause of death was heart attack. 83 is a good run.  

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I just caught up with this news.  Shocking, even though he was in his 80s, because I just saw him playing, wonderfully as usual, just a few weeks ago.  He worked right up to the end and apparently died of a sudden heart attack.  He was not a complex player, and was by his own telling self-taught (in large part by watching Phineas Newborn Jr's hand work), but his work was always interesting and very enjoyable, and often smoking and stunning.  Like a lot of Memphis players there was a fair amount of R&B based funk in his work.  Plus, the couple of times I had the occasion to interact with him I found him to be a quiet, gentle, but very engaging person.  He will definitely be missed on the NYC jazz scene, where he had become an always welcome mainstay over the past decade plus.

Bye Mabes...

Edited by Al in NYC

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20 hours ago, Al in NYC said:

I just caught up with this news.  Shocking, even though he was in his 80s, because I just saw him playing, wonderfully as usual, just a few weeks ago.  He worked right up to the end and apparently died of a sudden heart attack.  He was not a complex player, and was by his own telling self-taught (in large part by watching Phineas Newborn Jr's hand work), but his work was always interesting and very enjoyable, and often smoking and stunning.  Like a lot of Memphis players there was a fair amount of R&B based funk in his work.  Plus, the couple of times I had the occasion to interact with him I found him to be a quiet, gentle, but very engaging person.  He will definitely be missed on the NYC jazz scene, where he had become an always welcome mainstay over the past decade plus.

Bye Mabes...

I think you've described him perfectly:  about his music, and his personality.

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I had the good fortune of seeing Harold Mabern twice, once in Cleveland with Eric Alexander and once at the Village Vanguard with his own trio of John Webber and Joe Farnsworth.  Both times I sat right behind his piano bench, so I had the best seat in the house.

In addition to being a wonderful pianist and composer, Mabern seemed to genuinely enjoy interacting with people.  After the Alexander show, Mabern recommended Phineas Newborn to a young pianist, asked me what I played (bass) and who my favorite bassists were.  He then talked about Richard Davis a bit.  

Between sets at the Village Vanguard, I asked him about Lee Morgan and his respect and affection for Morgan was evident 40+ years after Morgan's untimely death.  I also asked him about why he was never a Jazz Messenger, as Blakey loved Memphis pianists and Mabern would have fit in well.  Mabern said that he subbed a few times for Cedar Walton but was already with Lee Morgan at the time.  

It is hard enough to deal with a great musician's passing, but It is even more difficult when the musician was such a warm, friendly person.  I'll cherish the souvenirs of the two times I saw him (a signed copy of Mr. Lucky and a signed Village Vanguard schedule) and keep enjoying and exploring more of his music, but this one still hits home for me.

Thank you for the music, Mr. Mabern, and rest in peace.

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