Read the latest review of “Songs From My Father” from JazzFlits

Read the latest review of “Songs From My Father” from JazzFlits

Gerry Gibbs took advantage of the corona time by criss-crossing the United States in order to record enough material for a double CD with four different trios. The percussionist did not play ‘Song for my father’ (‘standard’ by Horace Silver, as attentive readers know) but ‘Songs From My Father’. His father is the vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, who also apparently composed enough material for such a production. On piano we hear Chick Corea – in one of his last recordings – as well as Kenny Barron, Geoff Keezer and Patrice Rushen. Corea contributed one piece: the only track not by Pa Gibbs. A tough piece with a few tempo changes, in which son Gibbs had to read a lot. But he must have inherited that skill from his father, who did a lot of studio work after all.
Terry Gibbs’ eighteen pieces – written in the years 1949-1985 – are mostly handy and playable. No complicated harmonies, but a strong groove: in fours, funky or Latin. Son Gibbs is like a fish in water in that. The blues and ‘I got rhythm’ are there; in addition, some atmospheric ballads and a new melody about the chords of ‘Softly as in a morning sunrise’. Simplicity and logic, that’s what it’s all about.
The piano giants make no effort to present themselves emphatically. They swing with dedication and smooth fingers. Whether the basses of Ron Carter and Buster Williams have been recorded properly is a matter of taste. Your reviewer hears a grunt similar to anything but a double bass. Christian McBride’s bass, recorded unamplified as always, was spared this fate.
Gerry Gibbs (57) uses the term “Thrasher” for just about everything he’s in charge of. That can be a Thrasher Big Band or, like here, four times a Trasher Dream Trio. That “Dream” is another favorite qualifier of his father, who for years led his Dream Band: a collection of studio musicians from LA who came to jazz on Monday or Tuesday nights.
Terry Gibbs (96, actually: Julius Gubenko) is present in one piece in which all the participants can be heard: a matter of complicated overdubbing. The old boss is astonishingly flexible in this. The old Gibbs recorded a complete album for the same label in 2017. 92 Years Young: Jammin at The Gibbs House.
Jeroen de Valk
“Songs From My Father” is a “funky and spirited project” in latest review by Ken Franckling

Gerry Gibbs presents a “smashing double-disc masterwork” on latest release “Songs From My Father”

AUGUST 13, 2021 

Whaling City Sound

Songs From My Father is the much-anticipated new album from renowned musical polymath Gerry Gibbs. On his thirteenth release as a leader, drummer — percussionist — bandleader — arranger Gibbs presents a smashing double-disc masterwork featuring four iterations of his acclaimed Thrasher Dream Trio. Under his astute direction, this band of jazz titans pays homage to the musical legacy of Gerry’s 96-year-old father, Terry Gibbs. To honor Terry, one of the last living architects of bebop and innovators of the vibraphone, Gerry selected 18 tunes from his father’s vast discography and interpreted the timeless material through his own refined compositional lens with inventive, modern arrangements. Notably, Songs From My Father features the last recorded performance of the great Chick Corea, and includes one of Chick’s tunes composed specifically for this project. With Gibbs in the drum chair, his Thrasher Dream Trios include Corea and Ron Carter; Kenny Barron and Buster Williams; Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings and Geoff Keezer & Christian McBride; along with percussionist Kyeshie Gibbs. With this new recording, Gerry Gibbs cements his standing as one of the most creative and forward-thinking musicians on the contemporary jazz scene. Disc 1 features Corea and Carter on “Bopstacle Course,” composed in 1974 and “Sweet Young Song of Love” composed in 1985, and arranged by Gibbs and Corea. The first disc’s final track, “Hey Chick,” is a special homage to the memory of Corea. The Thrasher Dream Trio is featured on the album opener “Kick Those Feet” and “Take It From Me” both composed in 1964. “Smoke Em Up” (1968) and “Lonely Days” (1955) both feature Gibbs alongside pianist Patrice Rushen and organist Larry Goldings. Gibbs per- forms with pianist Geoff Keezer and bassist Christian McBride on 1955s “Nutty Notes,” and 1958s “The Fat Man.” Disc 2 provides audiences with further arrangements of timeless Gibbs compositions including 1949s “T & S” and 1955s “Lonely Dreams” featuring Barron, Gibbs and Williams; 1978s “Townhouse 3,” 1961s “Hippie Twist” and 1958s “Pretty Blue Eyes” featuring Rushen, Gibbs and Goldings; 1978s “4 A.M,” 1961s “For Keeps” and 1955s “Gibberish” featuring Keezer, Gibbs and McBride; and 1964s “Waltz For My Children” featuring and arranged by Corea, alongside Gibbs and Carter as well as the final piece on the album —“Tango For Terry” written and performed by Corea for his old friend Terry Gibbs.

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