Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Dirk Richter: Vibes Alive

An elegant, easy-going-down album, Dirk Richter’s Vibes Alive (Sin-drome SD-8926; 58:24) incorporates a number of Latin and blues textures to highlight the resonant lead voice of the vibraphone. Richter’s melodic play is lovely throughout- ringing and almost palpably glistening on “First Flight,” and chiming with well-placed hesitation on the bluesy “Sticky Fingers” — but busy, highly programmed arrangements (as on the two pieces mentioned) sometimes minimize the impact. The album’s best pieces approach Richter’s melodies through contrast. For example, “Vibes Alive” is given a darker, grittier foundation through Jimmy Haslip’s bass and Jeff Lorber’s B-3 touches, and a busy percussion canvas laid down by Luis Conte gives “Sambossa” a shuffling Brasilbeat feel to contrast Richter’s understated melody. These elements bridge the gap between nice background music and exciting composition.

Originally Published