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 Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 30, 2016

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!