Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Manhattan Vibes: Blue November

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Manhattan Vibes is a spot-on double entendre, referencing the vibraphone focal point that is Christos Rafalides 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 influence comes through in the music, whether fused with a tropical sound, à la vibraphonist Dave Samuels ("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 partner—vibraphonist Joe Locke—isn't lost on this music, but it's simply one ingredient in the complex recipe that is Manhattan Vibes. Pianist Sergio Salvatore, another mano-a-mano duo companion of Rafalides, syncs up wonderfully with the vibraphonist, matching his charisma and Latin-infused charm pound-for-pound. Drummer Vince Cherico can drive the music when necessary, but he also displays a sensitive touch that doesn't overpower. Bassist Mike Pope, who also works with Locke, is superb at every turn, whether soloing or holding down the fort.

Blue November is full of charm, excitement, class and in-the-pocket grooves. Manhattan Vibes has captured all that's right with its namesake city in this ten-song program.

Track Listing: 718; Blue November; Sorayia; Red And Black; Love Is A Many Splendored Thing; Days Of Silence; Unrequited; Smile; Samba Wa; Whisper Magic.

Personnel: Christos Rafalides: vibraphone, marimba; Sergio Salvatore: piano; Mike Pope: bass; Vince Cherico: drums, percussion.

Title: Blue November | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019