GEORGE CABLES
        Senorita de Aranjuez

                 Recording Date:
                      June 19, 2001

                     George Cables   P 
                     George Mraz     B 
                     Victor Lewis      D  



by Judith Schlesinger
George Cables is a very strong player with an impressive sideman pedigree that includes time with Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, and Freddie Hubbard. He's also released about a dozen solid CDs as a leader. As such, this one is surprisingly tame. There are some intriguing inventions, such as "Senorita de Aranjuez," Cables' droll, understated tango, and the "Killer Joe" vamp in "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," but more often these three excellent musicians seem less than fully challenged by the material. Erik Satie's light classical piece Gymnopedie No. 1, first brought to popular attention 30 years ago by Blood, Sweat & Tears, gets a mild and pretty treatment, as does "Unchained Melody," another tune that offers little in the way of complexity. "It's Impossible," from roughly the same era, has a similar problem of pop vacuity; although speeding up and skewing the tempo adds some liveliness, even the fine drummer Victor Lewis can't do much with his turn on this one. George Mraz, a bassist of singular melodic gifts, begins "The Summer Knows" beautifully, but even he can't keep it aloft. The trio really cooks on the opener and "All the Things You Are," and Cables and Mraz stretch out nicely on "Black Orpheus," but otherwise there's more desert than oasis. Not anyone's best CD.


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