Terry Gibbs, vibes; Pete Christlieb, tenor sax; Joey DeFrancesco, organ; Anthony Wilson, guitar; Mike Melvoin, piano; Dave Carpenter, bass; Barbara Morrison, vocals; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Franz Pusch, percussion.
An enthusiastic romp by these top Jazzpersons who shuffle a mix of old standards and new, these are all personally written tributes to the great Lionel Hampton. Terry Gibbs, protégé of the master gives him a fine farewell gift. We are given some masterly playing by Gibbs, who also has a go at singing for the first time in fifty years, and, imitating the vibes, plays some two-fingered piano in "Two Finger Shuffle". The set opens with some sensitive vibes playing from Gibbs with Lionel Hampton's own number, "Midnight Sun". Duke Ellington's "Ring Dem Bells" is a great way to introduce band members, and a good chance for each of them to briefly fly. Gibbs likes things to move along, his fast moving vibes leading the way; there is some electrifying vibes playing on his own piece, "Gates Got Rhythm", no sign of stiffening wrists from the veteran master. Great backing to, good stuff from the full, positive tenor sax of Pete Christlieb; some rattling piano from Mike Melvoin and Joey DeFrancesco conjures some haunting sounds on the organ against the vibes. "From Me To You", another Gibbs tribute number has a gentle sadness running through it, which communicated through all the band members. "The Worlds Is Waiting For The Sunrise" did not seem to wait for anything, as Gibbs smoked his vibes through this song at dazzling speed. Reason was restored with "Star Dust", Pete Christlieb opening a fine solo. This is a great CD; excellent numbers, exquisite vibes playing, a joy.
by Ferdinand Maylin
New Sounds - August 2004
Jazz Now Interactive August 2004 Vol 14 No. 4 - Table of Contents