A widely respected modern mainstream pianist, George Cables has successfully battled health problems in recent times and made a comeback. Born in New York City in 1944, he was classically trained. While attending Mannes College of Music, he formed the Jazz Samaritans with Steve Grossman and Billy Cobham. Cables recorded with Paul Jeffrey and Max Roach and in 1969 had a breakthrough due to a short stint with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and associations with Sonny Rollins (with whom he recorded Sonny Rollins’ Next Album) and Joe Henderson. Cables worked with Henderson into 1971 and was a major part of the groups of Freddie Hubbard (1971-76), Dexter Gordon (1976-78) and Art Pepper (1979-82).
In addition, he worked with Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Roy Haynes, Bebop and Beyond, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Williams, Frank Foster, Philly Joe Jones, Frank Morgan and Dizzy Gillespie. While being one of the favorite pianists of many jazz greats, Cables has also recorded frequently as a leader through the years, including over 20 CDs for such labels as Contemporary (the notable Cables Vision album in 1979), Concord, SteepleChase, HighNote, Kind of Blue and several Japanese companies. Cables has helped to define modern jazz piano in a style that is tied to the tradition but always fresh and forward-looking. A successful liver transplant in late-2007 ended a period of inactivity and, although currently waiting for another kidney, George Cables has returned to the jazz scene with energy and enthusiasm.