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Pianist George Cables Recuperating

George CablesThere’s a report from a reputable jazz-world source that pianist George Cables is recuperating from a liver and kidney transplant. He’ll certainly be in my thoughts. Cables, who’s always caught my ear on sideman dates with Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Woody Shaw, and Bobby Hutcherson, has amassed a considerable leader discography as well. “Unsung” is the word that all too easily comes to mind; like John Hicks and Harold Mabern, Cables has had fans and followers among musicians and jazz aficionados, but has never been a Downbeat-cover kind of guy. He was and is a modernist who initially bore the stamp of Herbie Hancock, although he’s said that Miles Davis and John Coltrane, rather than pianists, were his primary influences. A review three years ago described him as “a player who combines rhythmic power and a deep sense of the blues with a crystalline touch and captivating melodic sensibility,” and the argument’s been made that he was one of the first jazz pianists to excel on the electric piano. He’s been battling health issues for several years; best wishes to him as he recovers from these transplants.

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