May 19, 2024

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CD review: Gerry Gibbs – Our People 2019: Video, CD cover

Whaling City Sound is pleased to announce the June 7th, 2019 release of Our People, the 12th album as a leader from renowned drummer/composer Gerry Gibbs.

With the commercial success of Gibbs’ last four solo records (all of which reached #1 on the international jazz radio Jazz Week charts), Gibbs took some advice from legendary pianist Billy Childs who simply asked Gibbs “Why don’t you make your next album doing whatever you want?” With this ideology in mind, Gibbs recorded an epic, genre-defying masterwork unlike anything the multi-instrumentalist has ever produced before. The result is a magnificent sonic tapestry that pays tribute to our worlds’ many cultures and people over the course of 19 compositions.

Our People sounds like a full orchestra but is in fact the work of five gifted multi-instrumentalists, two of which are part of Gerry’s versatile Thrasher People Band. Acting as the principal soloist on the album, Alex Collins plays several keyboard parts as well as the marimba, vibes, soprano and alto saxophone, acoustic guitar, accordion, lead and background vocals and percussion. Gianluca Renzi performs all bass and string parts as well as background vocals and miscellaneous percussion. Gerry himself recorded all percussion parts (drum set, congas, timpani) as well as auxiliary percussion, glockenspiel, electronic soundscapes, keyboards and some vocals. In addition to composing and performing on Our People, Gibbs engineered and mixed the tracks himself. Rounding out the group are two very special guests: Mayu Saeki, who performs all woodwind parts, vocals and percussion, and Kyeshie Gibbs, who, alongside Saeki and Collins, contributes the majority of the vocal parts with some percussion.

Extraordinarily, these five artists are responsible for a total of 40 instruments on Our People. A true labor of love, Gibbs spent two consecutive 16-hour days composing and arranging all 19 compositions for different instruments, including an impressive vocal choir.

While Our People harkens back to the classic jazz-rock albums created by Chick Corea in the late 70’s, the influences present run the gamut. “We all channeled all the people that we, collectively, have known from all over the world. We were influenced by everyone’s different ethnicities, heritages, life experiences, culture, and customs, as well as the time periods they came from,” said Gibbs. In short, Our People is a celebration of diversity, and the many influences that are reflected within the jazz idiom.


01. The Calm Before the Storm
02. The Journey Begins
03. Music from the Universe
04. Our People
05. Dance of the Freedom People
06. The Streets
07. Oh Yeah!
08. Boys Sent to Die
09. Messengers on the Run
10. Chick Corea
11. Friends Before We Were Friends, Pt. 1
12. Friends Before We Were Friends, Pt. 2
13. Flying on the Wings of a Fantasy
14. Volkswagen, Peace Signs and Dashiki’s
15. Mike & Lenny
16. Thrasher People’s Blues
17. Memories of Home
18. The Final Message
19. We Now Return You Back to Your Reality

Image result for Gerry Gibbs - Our People

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