What evolved as a side project while performing as a trio at the Knitting Factory’s “Late Night Hang” show, “Vibes” present us with their first studio recording, titled “With Drawn”. Vibraphonist Bill Ware, bassist Brad Jones and drummer E.J. Rodriguez are also the rhythmic catalysts for the well-known “Jazz Passengers” among other side projects and session dates too numerous to cite here.
The vibes (no pun intended) are positive as this band features cool, sleek interplay in somewhat of a casual demeanor as in Ware’s composition titled, “Miles Away”. On this piece, you may find it hard to sit still without snapping your fingers to the buoyant rhythms and hip motifs. This track, in particular sounds like it was scored for one of those 1950’s B grade black & white detective movies. Here, Ware also steps up the pace and leads the band through a sprightly swing motif enhanced by Brad Jones bluesy upper register bass solo.
Bill Ware is a fluid vibraphonist who often implements a delicate touch, yet not quite as soft as Milt Jackson.....Ware utilizes some electronics on his solo performance of “The Animals” mega-hit, “House Of The Rising Sun”. E.J. Rodriguez’ Latin roots come to fruition on bassist Brad Jones’ composition, “Cha-Cha”. The groovin’ Latin beat continues on the affable group composition, “Main Space”. Ware paints vivid imagery here and throughout, as the band perform with authority and demonstrate a noticeably hip and spirited disposition. Ware also utilizes effects which at times mimic anything from hard rock guitar lines to synths, all done in good taste which generally compliments the warm, sonorous tones he obtains from his vibes. The trio turn in a jazzed up and somewhat soulful rendition of the Mitchell Lu tune, “Makin’ Whoppee” as Ware reworks and extrapolates the familiar theme. With Drawn is a refreshing effort. “Vibes” (the band) are potent yet at times display refined elegance! ... Some of you may even want to kick your heels off and as Sly Stone would say..”Dance to the music”....... * * * 1/2
Vibes are: Bill Ware; Vibes: EJ Rodriguez; Drums: Brad Jones; Bass