Terry Gibbs: Happy 93rd Birthday!

Terry Gibbs is one of the LAST living legends from the Bebop Era. Part of the scene in 1940s, Terry played with everyone from the creators of Bebop, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Max Roach. He then moved on to tour with legendaries Benny Goodman & Woody Herman. From there Gibbs went on to conduct TV Shows for pioneer talk show host Steve Allen and Regis Philbin. His 2004 autobiography GOOD VIBES: A Life in Jazz won the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor award. This is only a small summary of 92-year-old Terry Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs has come out of retirement only to make ONE MORE recording on Whaling City Sound and doing it in a jam session, the way he did back in the 1950s with Parker & Gillespie and all the great musicians of that era.

Throughout almost 80 years of playing and presenting music, exuberant vibraphonist and jazz icon Terry Gibbs, now 92, has always been known for the sheer joy that imbues his performances and CDs. On live recordings, he can be heard cheering the band on, punctuating arrangements and solos with non-verbal interjections. Even in the studio, the overall feeling of his band and his music is that life is a gas, a spirit very evident on 92 Years Young: Jammin’ at the Gibbs House.

These songs were recorded live at a jam session in Terry’s living room over 4 days in May 2016. Most tracks were done in a single take. Arrangements were discussed briefly just before playing, or not at all. There was no rehearsal. This kind of session knowhow is characteristic of Terry and not all that many others: name a song, play through it once into the mics, and move on. The entire band carries the seamlessness and continuity, which support the leader both comfortably and ably. Terry’s son Gerry, a veteran drummer and leader with several #1 CDs of his own, has recorded with his ‘Pops’ a number of times, as has pianist John Campbell. Handling the bass in this company as if born to it is Mike Gurrola.

The vibes is a very physical instrument, and Terry makes it sparkle and groove. In the liner notes for the CD, vibraphonist Warren Wolf writes, “[Terry’s] tone…is always recognizable, his speed and accuracy are rock solid and most important, the history of the music is heard throughout Jammin’.

Terry is one of the few musicians alive to have played in the formative years of bebop (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie) as well as with the King of Swing, Benny Goodman. For many years, Terry’s quartet included a woman on piano (and vibes), something rare in those days.

Posted on 27 de octubre de 2020

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