Harold Mabern, one of jazz's most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists, steps into the spotlight as a leader on his new CD, "Mr. Lucky: a Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr." During his time on the scene as sideman and leader, the Memphis native has played with such greats as Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery and Sarah Vaughan. With his long-time colleague, Eric Alexander, Mabern romps and stomps through an interesting repertoire of songs associated with Sammy Davis, Jr., for whose musicianship and his humanity the pianist has a great deal of respect and admiration.
"Swept Away sees the top-class foursome of bassist Marc Johnson, pianist Eliane Elias, drummer Joey Baron and saxophonist Joe Lovano commune over music that is engaging and sensual, poetic and swinging. There is also a spacious feel to the music that stems from the environment in which much of it was written, the home Johnson and Elias share in the Hamptons, New York. "I've written music in the bustle of Manhattan, on airplanes, every hectic sort of place," Elias says. "But we have a very different sort of relationship to sound out there, one that finds its way into the feel of the writing."