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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb & Unit 7: free at last

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Tobias Gebb's prodigious talents as a composer, arranger, bandleader, and drummer run throughout the admirable free at last. A positive, good-natured quality pervades the project. Despite the disc's eight tracks being relatively short, each is substantial and complete unto itself.

Gebb writes distinctive melodies, clothes them in a variety of forms, and arranges the material in imaginative and enjoyable ways. His own “Spitball" moves between funk and medium tempo swing, while the standard, “You Don't Know What Love Is," encompasses changes in tempo and meter, and Neel Murgai's sitar coexists with the horns on Lennon and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb & Unit 7: free at last

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On free at last, drummer Tobias Gebb shows great depth and maturity as a composer and arranger. This recording is a balanced mix of originals and standards, from various musical genres, combined to produce rich sounds and vibrant colors. Veteran altoist Bobby Watson and young tenor lion Stacy Dillard take star turns on the brisk “Blues for Drazen," one of several tunes with a hard bop pedigree. Joel Frahm's gritty tenor, Joe Magnarelli's fluttering trumpet and Mark Gross}' shoulder-weaving alto do a delightful boogaloo on the mischievous “Spitball." Watson's lamenting alto and Dillard's consoling tenor have a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb and Unit 7: free at last

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Like a bird uncaged, drummer Tobias Gebb expresses himself without restraint on free at last, recorded with Unit 7. The collection is a mix of original songs and covers. Gebb is a freelance musician on the New York scene. Having appeared on recordings with Lenny Kravitz and Donald Fagen, Gebb has also served as a leader with the piano-bass-drums group Trio West, and a larger ensemble known as Unit 7. For free at last, Unit 7 is actually two groups. Gebb and pianist Eldad Zvulon appear on all tracks. The rest are split between groups of five and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb & Unit 7: free at last

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New York-based drummer Tobias Gebb assembled a stellar cast for free at last. The format of Unit 7 follows the instrumentation tradition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The three-horn frontline and three-man rhythm section allows this group to sound bigger than it is at times, while also having the flexibility to make things more intimate. Gebb covers plenty of stylistic ground over the course of these eight songs and he wastes no time getting started.“Blues for Drazen" begins with a fiery drum introduction that leads into an up-tempo swing feel. Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb & Trio West: An Upper West Side Story

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Showing that its debut album Trio West Plays Holiday Songs (Yummy House, 2007) was no fluke, leader Tobias Gebb begins this album with a direct homage to Ahmad Jamal on his medley of “Poinciana/What Time Is It?" Not only does pianist Eldad Zvulun employ Jamal's idiosyncratic use of spacing but drummer Gebb is all a-chatter with Vernell Fournier-like flourishes, notably at the start and finish of this tune but also throughout the presentation. Zvulun is given another chance to shine on the bossa nova original from Gebb that follows, “Brasil Bela."

This album provides not only healthy dollops ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tobias Gebb & Trio West: An Upper West Side Story

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After a 1997 Christmas recording debut, Trio West is back. This time, An Upper West Side Story features the threesome of Tobias Gebb on drums, Neal Miner on bass and Eldad Zvulun on piano, with a little help from their friends, saxophonist Joel Frahm and vocalist Champian Fulton. Trio West plays extensively on the New York jazz scene. Its members have shared the stage or studio with a wide range of artists, including Cab Calloway, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Lovano and Larry Goldings. The group's second release is a straight-ahead offering that includes original songs, ...



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