GEORGE CABLES – I’m All Smiles HighNote Records HCD 7322
George Cables, piano
Essiet Essiet, bass
Victor Lewis, drums
Track Listing: Young at Heart • I’m All Smiles • Speak No Evil • Bésame Mucho • Ugly Beauty • Love is a Many Splendored Thing • Celebration • Three Views of a Secret • Thermo • Monk’s Mood
George Cables has been the pianist of choice for saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; Pepper called him his favorite pianist. Cables also recorded a lot with jazz stars Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson and Frank Morgan. On Cables' own new trio album, he is so fluent in the ways of the keyboard, song structure and harmony, so aware of his available options at every second, the compositions themselves seem as if they are being made up on the spot. But not all of the trio's decisions are made in the moment. As a structural feature, he loves yoking together his left hand and Essiet Essiet's bass, to give the music an extra-fortified low end. They play in tight unison so often, those doubled bass lines have become the trio's signature. Fused piano and bass have such a distinct color, when they merge it's almost like another instrument making an appearance. The trio polishes its music to a high gloss, which is so unassumingly good, you could miss just how good it is. It gives good taste a good name.