by Don Heckman
Everyone knows Terry Gibbs, knows of him, or has heard him play his swinging vibraphone. He has played with and outlived most of the jazz greats of the past 50 or more years. The swinging music that comes from those mallets is a groove that defies category
Gibbs’ continuing preservation of the classic sounds of bebop at its finest should be heard by every jazz fan. On his latest album, Terry Gibbs 92 Years Young, Jammin’ at the Gibbs House, he is still a master of the vibraphone. I first became a fan of Gibbs when I was barely in my teens. Every time I heard him zipping through riffs and rhythms with his small jazz group I was captivated, and the memory of his performances remains with me to this day.
As good as he is, Terry’s music reaches beyond the boundaries of the Blues, jam sessions and jive. He has embraced the Great American Songbook as well. Check out “Yesterdays,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “All The Things You Are” in the new album.
“We played some, went out back by the pool, had some sandwiches, told stories and laughed, came back and recorded a few more songs. We did this for four days and recorded 32 songs. No playbacks. I would ask about a song and we would play. All in one take. It was really an old fashioned jam session. By the third day, we actually had a band that I wish I was young enough to travel and play with.”
The above quote from Terry’s liner notes says he recorded 32 songs in four days of jamming in his home studio. Let’s hope for another album from this fabulous session of feel good music. Can’t get too much of a good thing.
The album album features John Campbell on piano, Mike Gurrola on bass and his son, Gerry Gibbs, on drums.