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George Cables, Pianist
Equally skilled as a leader or as a sideman, George Cables helped to define modern mainstream jazz piano of the 1980s and '90s. At the age of 18 at Mannes College, he formed the Jazz Samaritans with Steve Grossman and Billy Cobham. Cables gained recognition during his stints with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and Sonny Rollins (both in 1969), Joe Henderson (1969-1971), and Freddie Hubbard (1971-1976). He swang with Dexter Gordon (1976-1978) during the tenor's successful return to the United States, and became known as Art Pepper's favorite pianist (1979-1982). In addition to his occasional work with Bebop and Beyond (starting in 1984), Cables appeared in countless situations through the years, and has recorded frequently as a leader, most notably for Contemporary (including the 1979 classic Cables Vision), Concord, and SteepleChase.