144

Terry Gibbs: From Me To You: A Tribute To Lionel Hampton

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Tribute albums, by and large, have become a cheap marketing ploy for unimaginative record companies and artists looking to cash in on the legacy of more popular performers and to appeal to what they assume is a public uninterested in hearing challenging or original material. Just look at the way-too-many releases “honoring,” say, Miles or Duke. Of course they’re worthy of tribute, but not necessarily an entire album’s worth by every artist on the block, most with nothing special to say about the music.

There are exceptions, however. Those come when an artist has a deep personal tie to the music of a peer or predecessor, when he or she has been touched by the other’s music and is moved by more than potential CD sales to offer testimony to that inspiration.

Terry Gibbs’ From Me to You, an album in honor of the late Lionel Hampton, is one of those exceptions, a joyful tribute from one vibes master to another.

Fifteen years Hampton’s junior, Gibbs (now a spry 79) came of musical age listening to Hamp and, more than six decades later, still considers him his most important influence, extending beyond their shared instrument to a general sense of delight in making music that’s missing from many of their followers.

Though Gibbs moved in more of a bop direction than swing mainstay Hampton, he sticks here to standards associated with his mentor and originals that fit the Hampton mold. Along with a fine ensemble of West Coast players (including tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, pianist Mike Melvoin, guitarist Anthony Wilson and hotshot organist Joey DeFrancesco), Gibbs romps through Hamp classics like “Flying Home,” “Red Top” and “Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop” with a zeal (and skill) sure to make Hamp proud. He even turns in some impressive two-finger piano solos (a Hamp trademark) on “Two-Finger Boogie Shuffle,” and offers rare, novelty-style vocals on four tracks—which is about three too many, but why curb the man’s enthusiasm on what’s clearly a heartfelt and festive occasion.

Visit Mack Avenue Records on the web.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Time on My Hands" CD/LP/Track Review Time on My Hands
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Countdown" CD/LP/Track Review Countdown
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Generations" CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.