Gerry Gibbs is “fantastic” on upcoming release “Songs From My Father” available August 6!

Gerry Gibbs is “fantastic” on upcoming release “Songs From My Father” available August 6!

The history of this project is very dramatic. The album, conceived as a tribute from his son – the father, the famous drummer and band leader of “The Thrasher” Gerry Gibbs – the 96-year-old legendary Terry Gibbs, who played with Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Art Blackie, Dizzy Gillespie etc., who composed more than 300 compositions, who recorded 65 solo albums and was the # 1 vibraphone player from 1950 to 1955 according to DownBeat and Metronome polls, turned into a double tribute with a very sad connotation. However, let’s go in order …

The double album Songs From My Father amazes with its monumentality. Gerry has selected 18 compositions from different years from the vast creative heritage of his father. Known for his signature Thrasher Dream Trio chamber ensembles, Jerry decided to entrust the performance of this music to several Thrasher Dream Trios, composed of the outstanding jazz musicians of our time. There are four of them in the album. Chick Corea and Ron Carter play in one with him, Kenny Barron and Buster Williams in the other, Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings in the third (the only trio where a Hammond organ sounds instead of bass) and in the fourth – Jeff Keezer and Christian McBride. How do you like the team? In my opinion, just fantastic!

But what does it mean to implement such a project, and even in a covid year ?! Gerry Gibbs traveled half of America in ten months, coordinating the work schedules of the project participants in order to make these recordings. Terry’s old friend Chick Corea was especially inspired by the idea of ​​this tribute. He wrote the composition “Tango For Terry” specially for the album, which became the final track of the album, and also made arrangements for two more compositions. Gerry and Chick called up almost every week, discussed the progress of the project, and just talked “for life.” And then came the unexpected and black news of Chick Corea’s death. And it so happened that four pieces recorded for this album with his participation turned out to be the last lifetime recordings of this amazing musician …

Shocked by this tragedy, the project participants said goodbye to Corea with dignity. Gerry and his father jointly renamed Terry’s 1961 composition “Hey Jim” to “Hey Chick”, and it was jointly performed for the project by all eight of its members (each with a pair of choruses). In addition, Gerry also edited his father’s vibraphone solo from that old recording from the early 60s into this recording. This piece took a special place in the album, remarkable in all respects. If you love jazz, you just have to hear this unique work – and say goodbye to Chick Corea …


Review by

Leonid Auskern

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Rale Micic’s “Only Love Will Stay” is “very beautiful” and “warm” in first review from Jazz Square–available May 7!

Rale Micic’s “Only Love Will Stay” is “very beautiful” and “warm” in first review from Jazz Square–available May 7!

Rale Micic - Only Love Will Stay

Jazz guitarist and composer Rale Micic has followed a path characteristic of many European jazzmen who settled in the United States. A native of Belgrade, Micic (born 1975), having already acquired a good jazz reputation in his native Serbia, went to Boston in 1995 to study at the famous Berklee College. Among his teachers there were such famous personalities as George Garzone and Bob Brookmeyer. In 2000, Micic moved to New York and over the years has become a prominent figure in the jazz scene of the Big Apple. Rale released his first album, Bridges, three years later, offering listeners a mixture of jazz with Balkan music. And already during the recording of the second album ,Serbia, Micic was helped by such a prominent master as the trumpet player Tom Harell. Micic played in his ensemble, worked with Greg Hutchinson, Don Friedman, Eric Alexander.

Today we present his new work Only Love Will Stay, Micic’s second album for Whaling City Sound. To create it, Rale chose the chamber format of a jazz trio, and without a bassist. His guitar voice is assisted only by the Hammond organ, with the famous Jared Gold and drums (Johnathan Blake and Geoff Klapp) sitting at the keys. The album was made up of recordings of two sessions, in the fall of 2019 and in the summer of 2020, hence the line-up and two drummers, each of whom worked in one of the sessions.

Of the eight compositions that made up the album’s program, five are the author’s music by Rale Micic. Covers here are his interpretations of Even Steven by John Abercrombie (symptomatic: many compare Micic’s playing style with Abercrombie, and, as he himself says, John’s organ groups served as a model for this project), Irwin Berlin’s classic “How Deep Is The Ocean” and “Lipe Cvatu (Linden Trees Are In Bloom)” by fellow countryman, Serbian composer Goran Bregovic. This, however, does not limit the connection with the homeland in this project. Micic’s opening and title track “Only Love Will Stay” also contains echoes of Balkan music. It seems to me that it was no coincidence that this piece gave the name to the entire album. Very beautiful, warm, a little sad melody, soulful sound of a guitar, delicate organ reprise – for me it became a personal favorite of the album. A brief and aphoristic assessment of the entire project was given by Micic’s partner Jared Gold: “In playing the guitar, Rale has a unique voice. He combines a very melodic approach with a keen knowledge of harmonies. His original compositions reflect his life experience and tell the listener about his roots …” It’s hard to disagree.


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Mike Renzi/WCS

Mike Renzi/WCS

with Jim Porcella

Christmas Is: December Duets

Whaling City Sound Website

Available now on

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Press Release

Photos: Promotional Photo 1, Promotional Photo 2

Publicity: The Rhode Show, Midwest Book Review, Studio 10 WJAR, What’s Up Newport, All About Jazz, Jazz Weekly, Bill Copeland Music News, DownBeat December 2020, JazzSquare (Russian), Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame

Distribution: NAXOS of America

Mixed Media Client since: 2020

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Christmas Is 72

O’s Notes: Pianist Mike Renzi sets out to make something greater than the standard “Christmas Album”. He addresses the Holidays from different cultures and expressions. Renzi teams up with veteran vocalist Jim Porcella for ten duets, all classics done with class.
D. Oscar  Groomes
O’s Place Jazz Newsletter

Award-winning pianist Mike Renzi with baritone vocal performer Jim Porcella present Christmas Is, a holiday-themed album ideal for setting a mood of celebration, joy, and compassion. Wonderful, warmhearted, and evocative, Christmas Is flows beautifully and is highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are “Cool Yule”, “The Christmas Song”, “The Holiday Song”, “Our First Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, “Christmas Is”, “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”, “A Christmas Love Song”, “Snowfall”, and “Winter Wonderland”.

Review by

James A. Cox

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