Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of jazz fans: those who love the vibes and those who don’t. Those of us in the first category revere Milt Jackson and believe that the vibraphone, in the right hands, can conjure emotional mystery like no other instrument. Those in the second category apparently think it sounds like a toy xylophone.
Far fewer new vibraphonists come along than, say, pianists or guitarists. And with the death of Bobby Hutcherson in 2016 and the retirement of Gary Burton in 2017, you could argue that the vibes world has recently suffered a net loss.