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Sunday, April 6, 2014

More Vibes On Velvet - Terry Gibbs

Don't Cry
More On Vibes
Terry Gibbs
Mercury Records MG 36148

Recorded in Hollywood, Calif., November, 1958
Supervision: Pete Rugolo
Cover Photo: Garrett and Howard

From the back cover: Terry Gibbs is sometimes deemed more the hard-driving swinger and jack-in-the-box of modern vibraharp than musician of sensitive feeling for a ballad.

Clearly, his first Vibes On Velvet album (MG 36064) proclaimed the 34-year old Brooklynite (now resident in Southern California) one with a signal way with a pretty melody.

When the ballads are illumined by the perceptive arrangements of Manny Albam, the musical setting becomes such that the listener is presented a Terry Gibbs far removed indeed from the dazzling thrust-and-parry youngsters-in-jazz who erupted so potently in the Second Herd of Woody Herman during the '40s. While the wisecracks and gum chewing remain indissolubly part of Gibbs personality, his maturity in musical expression has seldom been more evident than in his treatment of these ballads. Contrasting sharply with the bulk of his recorded output during the past decade, this subdued selection reveals a more restrained facet of Terry's assertive jazz approach.

"It's very hard to play a straight melody on vibes," mused Terry, listening to a playback. "You keep wanting to play little figures and things around the tune and it's really tough to stay on the melody line."

He lapsed into silence for awhile, then abruptly observed, "You know, my wife is right about my playing. She says I play best on the songs I don't know. Take this one, What Is There To Say. It was new to me. I guess on new tunes you have to think more. You don't have time to get lazy and fall into playing ideas you're used to."

Moonlight Serenade
Blues In The Night
What Is There To Say
I Remember
The Things We Did Last Summer
You Make Me Feel So Young
Lazy Sunday
Every Day Is Spring With You
Don't Cry

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