George Cables, In Good Company (High Note)
The “Company” of the title refers to more than Cables’ trio members, bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis. It alludes to four fellow pianists whose compositions he plays in addition to two of his own in this relaxed collection. At 70, Cables reflects the values of the jazz mainstream of which he has been a solid part. In decades of work with Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Joe Henderson and others he has been a respected sideman and leader. Between his lengthy opening exploration of “After the Morning,” a John Hicks waltz, and the concluding single chorus of Billy Strayhorn’s “Day Dream,” Cables interprets pieces by Duke Ellington and Kenny Barron. Sparked by Lewis, Cables’ “Mr. Anonymouse” is an adventure in kinetic energy.