and the hustle and bustle of the world's busiest city, which manifests itself in the group's music. Rafalides, who hails from Kozani, Greece and adopted New York as his new home, waited more than a decade to make a follow-up to the band's self titled debut, but it was worth the wait.
The personnel line-up on Blue November is completely different from its predecessor, but equally potent. The reconfigured Manhattan Vibes is a piano trio-plus-vibraphone/marimba grouping that explores the ins-and-outs of pan-Latin jazz. A strong Chick Corea
("718"), or dosed with a hint of Mediterranean lust and a touch of Middle Eastern dust ("Sorayia"). Elsewhere, the band gets its slow groove on ("Blue November"), turns an old chestnut on its head with a Latin rewrite in nine ("Love Is A Many Splendored Thing"), delivers mellow jewels that unfold into something more ("Days Of Silence"), and visits Brazil with a bouncy affair ("Samba Wa"). Rafalides closes out the program with a solo vibraphone performance that puts all of his many gifts on display ("Whisper Magic").
The influence of Rafalides' mentor and occasional duet partnervibraphonist Joe Locke