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Biography

  • Born

    20 March 1936

  • Born In

    Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, United States

  • Died

    17 September 2019 (aged 83)

Harold Mabern (Memphis, Tennessee, USA, March 20, 1936 - September 17, 2019) was an American hard bop and soul jazz pianist and songwriter.

Early in his career, Mabern played in Chicago with Walter Perkins' MJT + 3 in the late 1950s before moving to New York in 1959. Mabern has worked with Jimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet (1961-1962), Donald Byrd, Miles Davis (1963), J. J. Johnson (1963-1965), Lee Morgan (1965), Hank Mobley (1965), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams (1966-1967), and Sarah Vaughan. In more recent years, he has recorded extensively with his former William Paterson University student, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander.

He performed in a video recorded session with Wes Montgomery in 1965, available on DVD as Wes Montgomery Live in '65.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mabern led four albums for Prestige Records, performed with Lee Morgan, and recorded with Stanley Cowell's Piano Choir. Harold Mabern has recorded as a leader for DIW/Columbia and Sackville and toured with the Contemporary Piano Ensemble (1993-1995).

A longtime faculty member at William Paterson University, Mabern was a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

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