Harold Mabern’s love of John Coltrane shines on new posthumous album
While it has only arrived years later, Mabern Plays Coltrane is actually the album that was originally planned for those live recording sessions at Smoke. Mabern had always played a key role in the festival since its inaugural edition in 2011, serving as the headliner most years.
“Harold loved doing the Coltrane festival,” Farnsworth says. “He was the one guy who played every single night and he took such pride in it. It was like he was saying, ‘I’m going to play strong every night, I’m going to play better each night, no one’s going to out-swing me, no one’s going to out-energy me, and no one’s going to out-charisma me.’ It was Harold Mabern time.”
The album was produced by Paul Stache and Damon Smith and mastered to analog tape using a Studer mastering deck.
Mabern died Sept. 17, 2019, at the age of 83.
Here’s the track listing for Mabern Plays Coltrane:
- Dahomey Dance
- Blue Train
- Dear Lord
- My Favorite Things
- Straight Street
Mabern Plays Coltrane was released Dec. 3 on Smoke Sessions.