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A Fireside Chat with Terry Gibbs

By Published: September 20, 2004
AAJ: And the strings are an integral part of the music, not background support.

TG: I used the strings like my big band, the Terry Gibbs Dream Band. That's how I wanted to use the strings. On the jump tunes, the up tunes, I used the strings like a brass section and saxophone section. I had Med Flory write out Charlie Parker choruses for the strings to play. And string players don't swing on their instruments. But they did it on this CD and I am really happy with it. I am really happy with how Nicholas Payton played and James Moody and Sam Most and everybody else.

AAJ: But Med Flory's arrangements are the catalyst.

TG: When I chose the arrangers, it was like the Dream Band, I had something in mind for each arranger. I lucked out. Tom Rainer gave me the sound of a big band, which I wanted. Med Flory gave me bebop and he knows the Charlie Parker choruses.

AAJ: To name a band the Terry Gibbs Dream Band sounds awfully congratulatory, but it really was a dream band - Bob Brookmeyer, Conte Candoli, Al Cohn, Med Flory, Bill Holman, Pete Jolly, Lou Levy, Mel Lewis, and Bill Perkins.

TG: It wasn't named the Dream Band. That was the name of the first album we put out. I was against that because like you said, it sounds self-indulgent. But then the album hit all over the world and made so much noise, it became the Dream Band. And it is the only thing I can brag about. That band I can brag about because it took 16 of us to do it. Whatever I had in mind, they found it. The Dream Band is something I can brag about. Four of those CDs were audition tapes. They were just tapes I had in my house for 27 years.

AAJ: And the future?

TG: I still have that New York energy and I will never lose that. But I love living here. I really love living here. But I hardly ever play in town. I live here, but I love it.

For more about Terry Gibbs, visit the Mack Avenue Records website .

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