Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Exciting Solo Piano CD
John Tapscott | Canada | 01/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Joy Spring" is an important CD in the Harold Mabern discography, for it is the only recording, as far as I know, on which Mabern plays strictly solo piano. Recorded in 1984 and 1985 at a club in Toronto, Canada, this music first appeared on a 1986 Sackville LP, and is now happily reissued with two extra tracks. The 60 minute CD is beautifully recorded and is generally a very satisfying listening experience.
Mabern's style is rooted in bop and blues, and he has a bustling two-handed approach to the piano. He constantly pushes the beat, and in common with most bebop piano players gives the listener a musical ride that is exciting, if not always smooth and predictable. His bebop style is clearly evident on "Joy Spring" and "Pent-Up House." Occasionally, as in "Blues in F/T-Bone Steak" and "Mabern's Boogie", he breaks into a more traditional style of left-hand accompaniment. Perhaps the best example of Mabern's combining both a bebop and more traditional approach is on Bobby Timmons' famous "Dat Dere", one of the CD's highlights. Even on ballads such as "House of Jade" and "Indian Summer" you can sense Mabern's energy and his desire to keep pushing the music forward.
Needless to say, this is probably not the CD you would choose as background music to soothe your dinner guests. It is no-nonsense, up-front, and often exciting piano jazz which captures and keeps one's attention. "Joy Spring" is a highly recommended recording and essential for Mabern fans, as well as a good introduction to his style for newcomers."