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Terry Gibbs’ 92 Years Young, named one of All About Jazz’s top picks of 2017

By: Dan Bilawski

Few things are a given, yet we can always count on a flood of new music making its way into the world over the course of a year. In 2017 some of the best jazz found its path by looking forward, doubling back, and/or branching out. In short, this music and the dedicated artists who make it continued to uphold a legacy paradoxically built on tradition, change, absorption, and refraction. I had the pleasure of listening to more than four hundred albums over the past year, and I covered approximately one hundred of them for All About Jazz. These twenty-five stood tallest in that crowd (Note: selections on this list are NOT ranked):

 


Terry Gibbs
92 Years Young: Jammin’ At The Gibbs House
(Whaling City Sound)

Here is what Dan Bilawski thought about 92 years young when it released back in June:

For a brief moment, put aside the fact that legendary vibraphonist Terry Gibbs is now ninety-two years old. Just listen to the YouTube video at the bottom of this piece—lyrical, swinging, and vibrant as any jazz out there—and take it in. It’s something beautiful, right? Nothing radical or groundbreaking at all, but most certainly jazz of the highest order. Now, go back to Gibbs’ age. At ninety-two, he’s at a point where most of his peers are either gone from this earth or lacking the vitality that served them well in their younger years. Few make it to that stage and far fewer have much to celebrate if they do. But Gibbs is that one-in-a-million man, loving life, smiling away, and still making his mark as one of the greatest vibraphonists of all time.

Gibbs essentially went into retirement around the time that he gained nonagenarian status, but when a one-off jam session at his house yielded a YouTube video that went viral overnight, the idea of making another album surfaced. Whaling City Sound’s Neal Weiss approached him about it and, despite the fact that Gibbs had declined Weiss’ offers to record in the recent past, he agreed. There was just one condition: the vibes legend didn’t want to go into a studio, so he offered up the idea of recording a jam session in his own home. Weiss was game for that, the plans were put together, the music was recorded and mastered, and here we have it—or about half of it, anyway. Over the course of four days in 2016, Gibbs and his band for the occasion—John Campbell on piano, Mike Gurrola on bass, and son-labelmate Gerry Gibbs on drums—recorded thirty-one songs. Gibbs picked the performances he liked best, and that’s what made it onto the album.

When taken with the aforementioned information, what makes this recording all the more remarkable is the fact that there were no written arrangements and most everything was done in a single take. In the end, musical self-assuredness coupled with spontaneity helped to create pure perfection. That’s apparent in Campbell’s smart juxtaposition of a familiar bebop strain against Gibbs’ “Back Home In Indiana” melody line, the vibraphonist’s classy and glowing cadenza at the tail end of “What’s New?,” some playfully traded fours between both Gibbs men in various spots, and the interlaced piano and vibraphone streams on “Yardbird Suite.” And that’s merely a handful of bright moments on an album overflowing with them. Time may remain an unbeatable adversary for all mankind, but it’s beautifully clear that Terry Gibbs has yet to acknowledge and accept that inevitable truth. Long may his mallets move.

To buy 92 Years Young, click here
To see Dan Bilawski’s other top picks for 2017 click here
To see the original review of 92 years Young, click here
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Alma Micic’s album shows youthful exuberance, but also a mature assurance

By: Joseph Lang

Serbian-born singer ALMA MICIC has been on the New York scene since graduating from Berklee College of Music in the late 1990s.  She has performed both locally and internationally and produced three albums prior to her current recorded endeavor, That Old Feeling (Whaling City Sound – 099).  She enlisted guitarist Rale Micic, bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Jonathan Blake and vibist Tom Beckham for this nine-tune collection.  Micic’s voice is immediately welcoming.  She opens with the title track, but there is nothing old in the feeling of her singing.  She has a youthful exuberance, but also a mature assurance that finds the heart of each lyric.  In addition to familiar tunes like “That Old Feeling,” “Moonglow,” “Cry Me a River,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Estate” and “Blue Moon,” she sings two Serbian songs, one of her own and a folk tune, plus Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”  All in all, That Old Feeling is a solid outing by Alma Micic.
To buy That Old Feeling, click here
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Glen Badessa’s #AnImmortalEvening Halloween Party raises $9000 for Spurwink RI & Hope Hospice RI

WHAT A FABULOUS NIGHT!!

SPOOKY WEATHER, CREATIVE COSTUMES.

Thanks to ALL who contributed to an Immortal Evening.

We at Mixed Media would like to personally thank

39 West

Almerinda Amadio

Amedeo’s Restaurant

Jeanette St Pierre/Providence Monthly

Jerri Calenda/MAC Cosmetics/Macy’s

Martinelli’s Bistro & Catering

Lots of food, laughs, dancing

and $9000 raised for spurwinkri.org & hopehospiceri.org, Glen Badessa’s favorite charities.

We might be onto something here…

And it’s not too late to make a donation!

Send checks payable:

Spurwink RI (Memo: Gail Badessa Fund) 1 Spurwink Pl, Cranston, RI 02910

or

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island (Memo: Glen Badessa) 1085 N Main St, Providence, RI 02904

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Castaldi Painting Auctioned at $1200

   

 

Sunday, October 29th, 7-11 P.M. at the Dark Lady, 19 Snow Street, Providence, RI 02903

Join us for an Immortal Evening, a Halloween party thrown in honor of our dear Glen Badessa/Immortal Cosmetics

Given by Family and Friends

Your $50 donation will benefit Spurwink RI/ the Gail Badessa foundation, benefits from the auction will benefit home and hospice care RI

For tickets click here

Munchies, Cash Bar, DJ Paul, Auction

Costume Contests in 3 Categories (Costumes a MUST)

For any questions call 401-272-4676 or email rosebudsalon@gmail.com

 

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O’s Place: Alma Micic characterized as “a first rate jazz singer”

WHALING CITY SOUND
ALMA MICIC/That Old Feeling:  A first rate jazz singer that deserves to be known west of New York, she knows how to wrap herself around the oldies in fine form.  A tasty set that is a hallmark for anyone that’s swirled martinis in a clip joint where a thrush holds court will know just what this all about and what treasures lie beyond the bytes.  Tasty throughout.
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Find out more about Alma Micic here.
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Lewis Porter-Phil Scarff Group distinguished as “a sweet return to sixties flavored jazz” by O’s Place

WHALING CITY SOUND
LEWIS PORTER PHIL SCARFF GROUP/Three Minutes to Four:  A sweet return to sixties flavored jazz when jazzbos felt free to take international chances under the wave of Beatlemania that was washing over everything .  Loaded with the smoking side of the east meets west jazzbo vibe of the times, this set will either take you back or make you venture further.  Real pros kicking it out for the sake of good times.
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Find out more about Lewis Porter Phil Scarff Group here.
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