Terry Gibbs 5-STAR Review on Amazon

Terry Gibbs 5-STAR Review on Amazon

Vibraphonist Terry Gibbs’s first recording (a radio show) dates to a broadcast of a 12-year-old Terry playing xylophone on Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour in 1936. His recording career on record started in 1946. Gibbs will turn 99 in October 2023 Though this album is officially recorded by his son drummer Gerry Gibbs – who helms the six-piece group called The Terry Gibbs Tribute Band for this CD, the elder Gibbs is here, not only in the fact that he wrote the music – and some of the lyrics – during his career, he appears on one track – the 6-minute “Now’s the Time To Groove” – both on vocals and playing the two-finger piano. (Age has caused Gibbs to stop playing the vibes.)

As another reviewer pointed out, Gibbs co-wrote with such folks as Bobby Troup & Steve Allen. And on 8 of the 15 tracks, the lyrics are by Michael Dees. Except for the previously mentioned “Groove”, the vocals are all handled by singer Danny Bacher.
The CD comes packed in a digipak with essays by both Terry and Gerry as well as photos.

Twenty years ago (when he was “only 78,” he wrote his autobiography “Good Vibes: A Life In Jazz” with assistance from my friend, music journalist Cary Ginell. It won both a Deems Taylor Award and an ARSC Award for Excellence from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. If you know who Gibbs is, I highly recommend that book (also on Amazon).

Isn’t it great that you can still be recording at 98 – and, better yet, do it with your son.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”

Terry Gibbs Reviewed in July issue of the Los Angeles Jazz Scene

Terry Gibbs Reviewed in July issue of the Los Angeles Jazz Scene


Terry Gibbs, who turns 99 next October 13, has had quite a remarkable career. One of the greatest vibraphonists of all time, Gibbs was a professional by the age of 12 (back in 1936). He became famous as a member of Woody Herman’s Second Herd, worked with Buddy Rich, Chubby Jackson and the Benny Goodman Sextet, mastered bebop, and was a bandleader throughout much of his career. Gibbs led his orchestra, The Dream Band, during the late 1950s and early ‘60s, headed the regular group on the Steve Allen Show in the 1960s, and had a quintet with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. His memoirs, Good Vibes, is both quite informative and often hilarious. Gibbs was active into his early nineties before deciding to retire.

The Terry Gibbs Songbook is a special final musical project in Gibbs’ career. There is one major error in the liner notes that needs to be corrected. It is stated that because Gibbs helps out with the singing and plays some two-handed piano on the humorous and nostalgic “Now’s The Time To Groove,” he is the first musician to record in eight decades. Actually Benny Carter recorded in nine; however Terry Gibbs still has the record. In addition to recording commercially in nine decades (starting in 1946), if one counts a radio show on which Gibbs in the 1930s played some classical music (tapes still exist and briefly appeared on You Tube), he is the only musician ever to have recorded in ten decades!

While Gibbs occasionally wrote songs that he recorded as instrumentals through the years, this project is a bit different. 15 of the great vibraphonist’s compositions have been given lyrics and are sung by Danny Bacher, a fine jazz vocalist who could have fit in well with jazz groups in the 1950s. Eight of the numbers have words by Michael Dees while the other collaborators were lyricists Arthur Hamilton, Bobby Troup, Steve Allen, and Jerry Gladstone with two of the songs having lyrics by Gibbs himself.

Terry Gibbs’ music has always swung and this set is certainly no exception. He gathered together pianist Tom Ranier (also heard a bit on tenor), bassist Mike Gurrola, and his son drummer Gerry Gibbs, and was able to easily talk the two great swing tenors Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen into joining the group. While each song has a Bacher vocal, there is a lot of solo space for the tenors and Ranier. The tunes range from love songs (including the touching “I Was Loved”) and wistful memories of his life to plenty of joyful swing. Such titles as “I Can Hardly Wait For Saturday Night,” “Play And Sing,” “And That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” “Stay With Me Tonight” (which during its closing part includes some Terry Gibbs vibes from decades ago), and the jazz waltz “Say Goodbye” are among the many rewarding songs on this set that could become standards in the future if heard by enough singers and instrumentalists.

Terry Gibbs has said on numerous occasions that this is his last recording. Hopefully when he turns 100, he will change his mind and do this again! In the meantime, be sure to pick up a copy of The Terry Gibbs Songbook which is available from www.whalingcitysound.com and www.amazon.com.

                                          Scott Yanow

Click here to purchase “The Terry Gibbs Songbook”

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