A true jazz master, Mabern is one of jazz’s most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists. Mabern was born in Memphis, a city that produced saxophonists George Coleman and Charles Lloyd, pianist Phineas Newborn Jr. and trumpeter Booker Little. He was an unsung hero of the 1960s hardbop scene, performing and recording with many of its finest artists including jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery.
However, it is only in recent years that he has begun to garner appreciation for his long-running legacy in jazz and the understated power of his talent; as critic Gary Giddins has written, “With the wind at his back, he can sound like an ocean roar.” During his over half-century on the scene as sideman and leader, he has played and recorded with such greats as Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard, George Coleman and Miles Davis, just to name a few. Unmissable.