May 28, 2024

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CD review: Terry Gibbs Legacy Band – The Terry Gibbs Songbook – 2023: Video, CD cover

Terry Jeebs is a unique personality in jazz. Try to name another living musician who has played with Gillespie and Parker, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge, Woody Herman and Ray Brown, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins and Lester Young, Duke Ellington and Count Basie – the list goes on and on: Teddy Jeebs has played with EVERYONE!

Terry, whose real name is Julius Gubenko, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 13, 1924, to Aba Gubenko, a music teacher and leader of his small band that played at various Jewish family holidays. During the war, Jeebs served in one of the military bands, and after it became a regular in New York clubs on 52nd Street – the mecca of bop. Terry, by the way, became one of the first vibraphonists who played in this style. During his long career, he recorded over 80 albums, composed over 300 compositions, and was awarded many prestigious awards.

At the age of 90, Terry decided to retire. But it only seemed to him! In April 2016, drummer Jerry “Thresher” Gibbs, son of Terry, well-known, including to our readers, organized a studio right in his father’s house, gathered a strong team of musicians and, with the blessing of Whaling City Sound chief Neil Weiss, recorded the album 92 Years Young: Jammin’ at the Gibbs House with Terry on vibraphone. The album appeared in 2017, made a splash and became a worthy final chord of a long career. But, again, it only seemed! The gunpowder hasn’t run out yet!

As Terry himself writes in the liner notes of the presented album, shortly after the recording of 92 Years Young, he composed a new melody. Negotiations followed with a potential lyricist, with Neil Weiss and other interested parties, and on December 27, 2022, a new album, The Terry Gibbs Songbook, was recorded with 15 of his compositions personally selected by Terry. Of course, son Jerry participated in the recording, bassist Mike Gurrola also played in 92 Years Young, vocalist Danny Bacher was invited, pianist and tenor saxophonist Tom Raniere did all the arrangements, and Terry saw the brass section in three tenors as a kind of reincarnation of the section Woody Herman Orchestra, featuring three of Lester Young’s students: Zoot Sims, Sten Getz and Al Cohn. As a result, Renier was joined by saxophone experts such as Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen. Terry Jeebs himself has already abandoned the malet and participated in the recording as a pianist and vocalist (!).

What to say about the album? Cool compositions, great musicians, exemplary mainstream jazz. It is clear to everyone that there was no need to expect special virtuosity from the 98-year-old Terry, but the very fact of his participation is worth a lot. For me, the most emotional moment of the album was Terry’s vocal dialogue with Danny Bacher on Now’s the Time to Groove. This must be heard. And Terry Gibbs ends his liner notes for the album like this: “listening to this CD, I am happy and proud at 98, knowing that this is without a doubt my last work in music, but feeling like a winner.” Terry did not put an exclamation point at the end of this phrase. I want to do it for him!

01 Let’s Go To Rio 04:58
02 Those Eyes, Those Lips, That Nose, That Face, That Girl 04:33
03 I Was Loved 05:08
04 Now’s The Time To Groove 05:53
05 The House That Might Have Been 04:10
06 Nina 04:27
07 I Can Hardly Wait For Saturday Night 04:47
08 If I Were You 05:02
09 Play And Sing 03:18
10 Lonely Days 04:27
11 And That’s Why They Call It The Blues 04:56
12 Say Goodbye 04:33
13 Stay With Me Tonight 05:53
14 If I Knew Then 03:58
15 Sweet Young Song Of Love 05:41

Scott Hamilton,

Harry Allen – ts;

Tom Ranier – p, ts;

Danny Bacher – voc;

Mike Gurrola – b;

Gerry Gibbs – dr;

Terry Gibbs – 2 finger p, voc, last solo on tk 4.

The Terry Gibbs Songbook / Terry Gibbs Legacy Band – ArkivMusic

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