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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Swing Is Here!

Verve 06025 17967137




  1. The Song Is You
  2. It Might As Well Be Swing
  3. Dancing In The Dark
  4. Moonglow
  5. Bright Eyes
  6. The Fat Man
  7. My Reverie
  8. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
  9. Evil Eyes
  10. Back Bay Shuffle

Terry Gibbs (vibraharp); Joe Maini, Bill Perkins, Charlie Kennedy (alto saxophone); Med Flory (tenor saxophone); Jack Schwartz (baritone saxophone); Conte Candoli, Johnny Audino, Al Porcino, Ray Triscari, Stu Williamson (trumpet); Bobby Pring, Bob Edmundson, Tommy Sheppard, Frank Rosolino (trombone); Lou Levy (piano); Buddy Clark (upright bass); Mel Lewis (drums)
rec. February 1960, Los Angeles, CA


Terry Gibbs's band was a force for good, as was the leader. He was naturally a venerator at the altar of Lionel Hampton, but that's not a bad place to be, especially when it generated such a fine and relaxed sense of swing. But he was far from being a copyist and his band had a real kick to it, spurred on by the drumming of Mel Lewis. Given also that some stellar arrangers were working for Gibbs and you have a pretty inexhaustible supply of superlatives; check out the names of Bill Holman, Manny Albam, Marty Paich and even Al Cohn who arranged Moonglow.

The leisurely stroll on It Might As Well Be Swing shows just how tight an ensemble the band had, and how controlled their swing could be; note here Gibbs's ultra relaxed vibes solo. Is it Conte Candoli taking the trumpet solo on Dancing in the Dark? With section mates such as Al Porcino - it's a powerhouse brass section to be sure - you had to be on top form.

Bright Eyes is a Holman song and arrangement and its tight sectional discipline, propulsive drumming, Lou Levy piano solo and trumpet solo, elevate it to high status amongst the tracks on the short disc. It's a straight reissue so the thirty-four minute playing time must be noted.

Still there are far worse things to do in this life than to relax to that loping swinger, The Fat Man, with once again rhythmic discipline and brass tightness to the fore. Let's pass over the attribution of My Reverie to a certain Claude DeBussy - surely not a cousin of Mister Reginald De Koven? - and concentrate on the exemplary inter sectional balance evinced on Softly As In A Morning Sunrise and the raucous swinger Back Bay Shuffle with which the disc ends.

The greatest virtues of the band, apart from the leader's sometimes bop-tinged soloing and the superb rhythm section, were the watertight sections. There are few outstanding solos, as such, but the corporate strengths on show are the main focus. This tight knit band provides just over half an hour of energising, resourceful swing.

Jonathan Woolf

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