Terry Gibbs: 52nd & Broadway: Songs of the Bebop Era (2004)
Armed with eleven bebop standards and one original, plus a high priced front line consisting of James Moody, Nicholas Payton and Sam Most, Gibbs revisits some of the bebop warhorses of yesteryear. The album begins with a bossa version of "Round Midnight" and soon includes a scatting duet with flutist Sam Most, on George Wallington's "Lemon Drop," which may recall the Woody Herman version for you. Most is given the melody line on both "If You Could See Me Now" and "Lover Man" and makes the most (no pun) of it. Moody and Payton are up to the demands of the bebop playing and, in addition to their individual solos, the two sound great trading lines with Gibbs in the opening numbers. Dizzy Gillespie's anthem "Night in Tunisia" is taken at a surprisingly mid-tempo pace, and it serves as an effective way of placing more attention to the melody.
My only reservation on the album is the use of a string section. It works and it also doesn't work! On the ballads, the strings sound like a synthesizer special effect and give the songs a cheesy flavor. However, on the flag-wavers, their use recalls the "Bird with Strings" sessions, where the listener is caught up in the excitement of the fusion of the two elements.
Track Listing: Round Midnight, Jumping with Symphony Sid, Lemon Drop, If You Could See Me Now, Groovin' High, Cherokee, Night in Tunisia, Lover Man, Salt Peanuts, Perdido, Doxy, Bopstacle Course
Personnel: Terry Gibbs,vibraphone; Tom Ranier,piano; Dave Carpenter,bass; Jeff Hamilton,drums; James Moody, sax; Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Sam Most,flute
Record Label: Mack Avenue Records