Pianist George Cables has an intensely rhythmic style and always comes out swinging. He first became famous as a sideman in the 1970s, playing with such luminaries as Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon.
Some of Cables’ best work in those years came as a sideman with saxophonist Art Pepper. It seems that Cables’ was fond of Pepper. “Art Pepper was a bit eccentric,” says Cables. “He was a great alto player and very warm.”
Dr. Wes Watkins, IV has built his whole life’s work around the idea that there’s no better example of democracy than a Jazz ensemble. Dr. Watkins is the founder of the Bay Area-based Jazz & Democracy Project. He devised a curriculum that teaches schoolchildren lessons in jazz alongside American history and the democratic process.
In New York, a new crop of 30-something musicians, whose parents were born elsewhere, are mixing Latin, Balkan, or South Asian music with jazz. One of the best is guitarist Rez Abbasi.
Abbassi was born in Karachi Pakistan but grew up in Southern California. As a youngster he was more enamored of rock than ragas. While South Asian sounds wafted throughout his home, he tried not to pay attention.