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

Terry Gibbs: From Me To You

No one is more hyper, or hipper, than Terry Gibbs. I’ve seen him play in 5/4 while chewing his ever-present gum in 4/4. He never shuts up, at live gigs or recording sessions, and that’s all part of his neurotic charm. Gibbs exudes a fierce loyalty to jazz and to those icons who helped mold him. Thus, From Me to You, his tribute to Lionel Hampton. Gibbs has surrounded himself with like-minded swingers: Pete Christlieb, tenor; Joey DeFrancesco, organ; Mike Melvoin, piano; Anthony Wilson, guitar; Dave Carpenter, bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums; and for one tune, “Evil Gal Blues,” producer Stix Hooper wisely chose singer Barbara Morrison.

It’s a fun session, capturing the essence of Hamp’s energy and showmanship. Gibbs arranged all 14 tracks, which means beaucoup solo stretching-out, particularly for Gibbs, Christlieb and DeFrancesco. It also translates to three vocals by Gibbs: “Ring Dem Bells,” an ancient anthem by Duke, used for introducing sidemen, “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” The last time Gibbs recorded a song with his vocals was 54 years ago: “Lemon Drop,” with Woody Herman. An ominous pattern is emerging here. As Gibbs observed, “Maybe I’ll sing on records every 54 years.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published