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Kenny Barron/Gerry Gibbs/Ron Carter: Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio

Dan McClenaghan By

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Drummer Gerry Gibbs calls this band the Thrasher Dream Trio. That "Thrasher" aspect of the appellation might make the uninitiated conjure images of burly tattooed guys in sleeveless shirts, sporting long black hair—and maybe facial make-up—slamming their instruments in the heavy metal bass/drums/guitar mode. But this couldn't be further from the music at hand. Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio teams two seasoned jazz veterans—legends, really: bassist Ron Carter and pianist Kenny Barron—with relative newcomer Gibbs, on an energized set of jazz standards and pop tunes along with some inspired band member originals.

Gibbs, the son of vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, bit off a big chunk when he hooked up with his "dream band." How do you play in the presence of giants? On the drum kit, do you go covert, slip in behind the big guys and lay down a subtle timekeeping groove and let them work their magic? Or do you get into an overt approach, and engage your heroes, and see if you've got what it takes?

Gibbs take the latter route, and does a marvelous job of it, with drum work that is dynamic and assertive, in the driver's seat for the supreme swing on his original tune, "The Thrasher," keeping impeccable time on Barron's "Sunshower," adding a snap and pop on Carter's "A Feeling," or painting a diaphanous pastel with the brushes on his tender "The Woman on the T.V. Screen."

There are some excellent jazz covers included: pianist Herbie Hancock's "The Eye of the Hurricane," and Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy." "The Shadow of Your Smile," cranked up to near frenetic tempo, represents the Great American Songbook. But the highlights are Gibbs fabulous arrangements of some familiar pop tunes. The Hal David/Burt Bacharach tune, "Promises, Promises" is given a swinging treatment by the trio that gives the melody a bounce; and Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry "Bout a Thing" sparkles around Carter's big, solid bass notes.

Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio—a superb piano trio outing—represents a dream project come true for drummer Gerry Gibbs.

Track Listing: Epistrophy; Promises, Promises; When I Dream; The Shadow of Your Smile; The Woman on the T.V. Screen; The Eye of the Hurricane; Tell Me a Bedtime Story; A Feeling; Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing; Sunshower; Here Comes Ron; Impressions; The Thrasher; Mr. Clean; The Theme.

Personnel: Gerry Gibbs: drums; Kenny Barron: piano; Ron Carter: bass.

Title: Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

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