As he stood in the hallway, the students gathered round…
You could see the crowd growing, one-by-one as the people walking by heard what was happening.
Harold, animated and speaking with vibrant energy, was sharing his experiences with a group of lucky students that happened to catch him in-between classes.
While I was at music school, pianist Harold Mabern’s spontaneous hallway-lunch-time talks became something you did not want to miss.
A walking encyclopedia of jazz history, tunes and techniques, Harold actually lived it.
He played with greats like Cannonball Adderley, Roy Haynes, J.J. Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, and Miles Davis, just to name a few!
And Harold, as you can tell from the scene described above, loves to share his experiences and knowledge that he’s picked up along the way.
Having the fortunate opportunity to study and spend time with him for several years, he taught me all sorts of things.
But sometimes the things that have the greatest impact on you are the simplest of ideas…
An then it hit me…
Box after box I unpacked. What could be in this one? More lead sheets, another 10 play-alongs, a manuscript notebook filled with messy lines and chord symbols. What is all this junk? And then, in small barely-legible handwriting, scribbled on a piece of paper, I read something profound…‘Harold told me today that it’s not how much you gain, it’s how much you retain’
This was me as I went through my boxes … Read More