3

Manhattan Vibes: Blue November

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Manhattan Vibes: Blue November 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!