Harold Mabern has been carrying forward the destiny of jazz music since the 1960s. His generation was the last to learn intuitively the inner workings of the music. It gives their playing individuality, vitality, and an imagination, which cannot be acquired through formal study.
"I'm from the university of the streets. That's where I got my knowledge from.. I went to the university of Bill Lee, George Coleman, Phineas Newborn, Chris Anderson and Ahmad Jamal. When you get it that way it tends to stay with you".
Harry Edison, The Jazztet, J.J. Johnson, Joe Williams, Lee Morgan and Wes Montgomery were among those who recognised Harold's skills and featured him in performances and recordings.
The solo piano performances on this recording were taped while Harold was in residence at Toronto's CafŽ des Copains in 1985. What you hear is a one time interpretation of the material - drawn from the jazz musician's repertoire of popular songs, jazz standards and the blues language. As Harold explains Òmy stuff is not predictable. If I work out something - go to the piano - I can't remember it. So whatever I do is happening at that moment. I might have a couple of runs that I have played for years but 98% is happening at that moment. Strictly spontaneous!Ó
Indian Summer and Manhattan have been added to the selections issued originally on LP