The title Swing Is Here would have been more appropriate for the 1930s instead of 1960 when this album was originally issued, and the big-band era had long since waned. Yet vibraphonist Terry Gibbs kept the home fires burning out in California with this exceptional orchestra of cool jazz giants playing a stack of standards and modern compositions by Bill Holman or Gibbs, and one look back with an Artie Shaw number. What is most interesting about these arrangements is that they are always different in emphasizing the fleet, dampened sound of Gibbs in contrast, apart from, or in tandem with the woodwinds and brass instruments.
In 2010 Universal Japan reissued a series of Impulse! classic jazz records on limited-edition CD. 20bit K2 mastering. One of the most accomplished jazz vibraphonists, Terry Gibbs made one of his best small group recordings for Impulse! in 1964. With Kenny Burrell and the strong rhythm section consisting of Sam Jones and Louis Hayes who were at the time working for Cannonball Adderley, Gibbs turns in a superb performance that is bluesy, swinging and modern!
Everything on this CD is receiving its first commercial recording. Armstrong Gibbs's most famous piece is the once very popular little orchestral movement called 'Dusk', which was recorded on our first 'British Light Music Classics' CD. Looking for suitable repertoire to introduce Guildhall Strings into the Hyperion catalogue we asked their programmer, Ben Buckton, to investigate Gibbs's other music. The composer's granddaughter, Anne Rust, told Ben that, for safekeeping, she had sent some scores many years ago to the Britten-Pears Music Library in Aldeburgh where they have remained untouched ever since. Ben's request for 'anything for strings' by Gibbs resulted in the production of a stack of dusty folders containing the handwritten manuscripts. The work on the top of the pile was the Threnody for Walter de la Mare, and it immediately became clear that the journey to Suffolk was going to lead to more than anyone had expected. This is attractive, well-written music in a lighter vein, dating from the first half of the century.
RIP: Ronald Shannon Jackson. Ronald Shannon Jackson died peacefully at his home in Ft. Worth on October 19, 2013.
Power Tools was a one-off semi-supergroup that, if it didn't quite fulfill expectations, at least offered up this enjoyable album. It's an odd mixture; drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson was in the midst of his time with the free-metal-noise band Last Exit, bassist Melvin Gibbs was involved with various avant funk bands (including that of Arto Lindsay), and the pre-Naked City Bill Frisell was beginning to delve into that hazy area between country/Americana and jazz.