WCS News: Gerry Gibbs, Terry Gibbs, John Stein, Reggie Young, Harvie S & Sheryl Bailey

Gerry Gibbs Weather or Not #1 for 3 weeks

#7 on JazzWeek
4th #1 release in a row

"Nice to hear graphically arranged material of Weather Report. Keep up with your creative mission!"~Wayne Shorter
(Co-Founder of the legendary group Weather Report)

"Joe Zawinul always had the utmost respect for maestros Kenny Barron and Ron Carter. I am certain that their Thrasher Trio-mate Gerry Gibbs' name would have been added to that select list had Joe been able to hear Gerry's realization of the music of Weather Report as played by his new trio that includes: Alex Collins on piano, Fender Rhodes, organ & vocals plus Hans Glawischnig on acoustic and electric bass. Here is a unique reading of Weather Report's music that is totally fun to listen to. As an insider, I can say that this album sheds new light on the WR canon while spotlighting the intrinsic talent and sounds of Gerry's new band. I feel the better for having heard this recording. P.S. Jaco would have loved Hans' playing on "A Remark You Made" … I know that I do."
Peter Erskine (Weather Report Alumni)

"Gerry, love your interpretations, really gives me lots of inspirations. Keep this up."
Alex Acuna (Weather Report Alumni)

"Great musical interpretations by drummer/visionary Gerry Gibbs of the various songs originally recorded by super-group Weather Report. Gerry's drumming is impeccable throughout. The band really cooks!! A must have CD!"
Alphonse Mouzon (Original drummer/founding member, Weather Report)

"Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People visit the music of Weather Report with great re-interpretations and success, and if that wasn't enough on this 2 CD set, you can hear the Thrasher Trio tackle Gerry Gibbs' complex original compositions each of which tell a unique story like the Weather Report tunes...real impressive playing from everyone...this stuff ain't easy folks!! They kill it!"
Randy Brecker (Jazz/Fusion Pioneer)

"Gerry is a very interesting artist for me to listen to, he is not only a great drummer with tons of spirit and ideas but he is a great arranger and writer. New and fresh ideas being examined from many angles through the eyes of artists who know the roots."
Mike Clark (Jazz/Funk Drumming Pioneer)

In the best case, an album has a story to tell, a hook, that will get a record attention and help to put the good word into the ears of all the right people. In the case of Gerry Gibbs' new album, there are three great stories to tell. Following the successful reception of drummer, composer, bandleader, producer Gerry Gibbs' last three CDs, all reaching #1 for 15 weeks on the international Jazz charts, along with a Grammy nomination with his Thrasher Dream Trio (featuring jazz icons Ron Carter and Kenny Barron), Gerry went in search of new faces to start a fresh project. This time he incorporated a mix of genres with influences from all over the world, while also borrowing from different periods in music. The result is this extraordinary multi-instrumental trio.

Vibist Terry Gibbs, comes out of retirement with new album,
92 Years Young: Jammin' at the Gibbs House

"How do I put it? He's still going strong. He's unstoppable. How does he do it? He's still amazing!" ~ Gary Burton

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 know how 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. He also maintained a racially mixed band over decades, while traveling in every part of the U.S. as well as abroad. No matter what kind of music Terry played, he intended for you to tap your feet and dance to it.

His decision to record one more performance, in a very long line of excellent CDs, is something to behold, celebrate and enjoy.

Besides all of this, 92 Years Young: Jammin' at the Gibbs House is a pleasure to listen to. Mr. Gibbs would be honored to share his story with your audience. I look forward to hearing from you about a possible feature on this jazz legend.

Wood and Strings by John Stein and Dave Zinno
A rare duet, pairing guitar and bass, shines a warm light on the joy of jazz

You wouldn't think so, but jazz guitar and bass duets are surprisingly rare in recorded jazz, especially considering how common they are on stage. Maybe it's the sheer nature of the musical context, how it discourages musicians from attempting such stark documentation of their art. There certainly is no place to hide, and it becomes a real challenge to create a compelling musical experience. But that's if you're talking about the project in the wrong hands. In the right hands, a guitar and bass can reward the listener with often exhilarating, beautifully nuanced interplay: a musical gift combining individual visions with mutual respect.

Wood and Strings shines an intimate light on the simple joys of collaboration. John Stein and Dave Zinno bring with them lifetimes of musical experience and the canny ability to cultivate personal and musical ground together. Stein, a proven and revered force in traditional jazz, boasts his customarily warm tone, round and creamy, a perfect match for acoustic bass. Zinno's pitch is wonderful and the tone is deep, dark and woody.

In terms of artistry, they both have a deft touch, derived from years of caressing and cajoling, coaxing and stroking their strings. Delving deeper into technique, they have profound knowledge of improvisation that’s beautifully tied to chord progressions, phrasing, melodicism and harmony. Both musicians have an internalized pulse and go deep into the groove of each tune regardless of tempo or style.

In other words, it’s like two brilliant philosophers were whispering to one another, a gorgeous dance where the participants, eyes fixed, express themselves as they circle one another, all the while making certain to leave enough space for the other to perform fully. This is a soft musical conversation that comes from a deep place, where the listener will be compelled to “lean in” to catch every expression.

If there is an essential quality to this collection, it’s that Stein, through his compositions, arrangements, and performances, has created the environment in which he and Zinno can play in the moment while creating something of timeless beauty. The Whaling City Sound label’s newest worthwhile collection, Wood and Strings could not be recommended more highly.

Forever Young by Reggie Young
He is the guitarist on Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto, ” Dusty Springfield's “Son of a Preacher Man, ” Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind, " Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" and Dobie Gray's "Drift Away, ” among so many other legendary songs. His name is Reggie Young.

Reggie is now featured on a brand new album by an artist making his debut as a bandleader. That artist is—wait for it—Reggie Young! At 79, after six decades of stellar appearances, backing megastars and superstars alike, and receiving accolades from names like Clapton and George Harrison, Reggie is at last responsible for an album of his own material, the aptly titled Forever Young.
Recorded primarily at La La Land Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Forever Young features seven instrumental tracks written and produced by Young. They showcase his unique and supremely soulful six-string sound. Not only that, the rest of the performers on the recording include mainstays of the Memphis, Nashville and Muscle Shoals eras of the ’60s and ’70s. Forever Young is excellent news for fans of tasty southern-style country-soul, and good news for Young, who finally gets to emerge from the shadows cast by some of the greatest performers in rock music history to stand on his own, at long last, in the spotlight.

Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Departure by Plucky Strum (Sheryl Bailey & Harvie S)

As seasoned and important players on the national and international trad jazz scenes, Sheryl Bailey and Harvie S—known together as Plucky Strum—made real impact with their recent eponymous debut, a work which showcased discerning talent and true creative craft.

On their follow-up, the aptly named Departure, Harvie and Bailey dig a little deeper, engaging in some creative improvisation and interplay. Those familiar with their work—Harvie has played with many of the greats, including Jim Hall, Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, Gil Evans and Thad Jones—will love how they’ve enhanced the adventure here, filtering in Sheryl’s electric guitar with subtle electronics, clever bebop excursions and some stellar, simpatico interplay that takes the duo into exhilarating sonic regions.

All in all, Departure is accomplished and masterful. The material is bravely selected and boldly performed. The recording is balanced and skillfully produced, with lovely mixing and mastering. Interpretations, like CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” with Harvie’s bowed bass lines and Sheryl’s tactile exploration, is one example, but there are many equally wonderful examples on the record, all of which deserve to be heard. This is major league stuff, brilliant and beautiful.

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