Little B's Poem
The Very Thought of You
Veteran pianist George Cables has been an in-demand sideman for decades; he’s recorded with Art Pepper, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, and many others. Cables is a strong accompanist, and his solos have the clarity of a finely honed short story. He’s also recorded many albums as a leader, and on 2014’s Icons and Influences, he’s in top form. As its title indicates, the album pays tribute to some of his musical comrades and inspirations. The opening cut, “Cedar Walton,” is a buoyant tune that embodies swing in sweet ways. It often returns to a springing bass line that Cables and bassist Dezron Douglas play in unison. The pianist tips his hat to the great Bill Evans by covering his waltz “Very Early”; Cables is continually inventive as he works through the changes. (And check out Douglas’ thick-toned solo.) Drummer Victor Lewis drives the trio hard on a version of Henderson’s “Isotope.” Later in the piece, Lewis engages in exciting call-and-response with his bandmates. The closer, a Benny Golson ballad called “Blue Heart,” is rendered with great feeling by a solo Cables.