Terry Gibbs – More Vibes On Velvet (1959)

FrontCover1erry Gibbs (born Julius Gubenko, October 13, 1924) is an American jazz vibraphonist and band leader.

He has performed or recorded with Tommy Dorsey, Chubby Jackson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Alice Coltrane, Louie Bellson, Charlie Shavers, Mel Tormé, Buddy DeFranco, and others. Gibbs also worked in film and TV studios in Los Angeles.

In the 1950–1951 season, Gibbs was a popular guest on Star Time on the DuMont Television Network. Thereafter, he was a regular in 1953–1954 on NBC’s Judge for Yourself.

In the late 1950s, he appeared on NBC’s The Steve Allen Show, on which he regularly played lively vibraphone duets with the entertainer and composer. In 1997, he appeared on Steve Allen’s 75th Birthday Celebration on PBS. Gibbs was also the bandleader on the short-lived That Regis Philbin Show. As an instrumentalist, together with his big band, the Dream Band, Gibbs has won prestigious polls, such as those of Downbeat and Metronome.

When Gibbs moved from New York to California in 1958 he began planning for his next big band album. In early 1959 he booked extended residencies at two Los Angeles night clubs, the Seville and the Sundown for what became known as the Dream Band.

TerryGibbs02The band usually played on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night when the cream of Hollywood jazz and studio musicians would be available. The core band always remained stable with Mel Lewis holding down the drum chair.

Some of the key players were lead altoist Joe Maini, tenor saxists Bill Holman and Med Flory, trumpeters Al Porcino and Conte Candoli and trombonists Frank Rosolino and Bob Enevoldsen.

New arrangements were commissioned from Bill Holman, Marty Paich, Med Flory, Manny Albam and Al Cohn, among others, to feature Gibbs’ vibes in front of the band. The band released four albums from 1959 to 1961.
In the mid 1960s, Gibbs opened a music store in Canoga Park, California, with former Benny Goodman drummer Mel Zelnick. Terry Gibbs and Mel Zelnick Music Stop was also the first teaching facility of the drum guru Freddie Gruber and Henry Bellson, brother of Louie. (by wikipedia)

Terry Gibbs is sometimes deemed more the hard-driving swinger and jack-in-the-box of modern vibraharp than musician of sensitive feeling for a ballad.


Clearly, his first Vibes On Velvet album (MG 36064) proclaimed the 34-year old Brooklynite (now resident in Southern California) one with a signal way with a pretty melody.

When the ballads are illumined by the perceptive arrangements of Manny Albam, the musical setting becomes such that the listener is presented a Terry Gibbs far removed indeed from the dazzling thrust-and-parry youngsters-in-jazz who erupted so potently in the Second Herd of Woody Herman during the ’40s. While the wisecracks and gum chewing remain indissolubly part of Gibbs personality, his maturity in musical expression has seldom been more evident than in his treatment of these ballads. Contrasting sharply with the bulk of his recorded output during the past decade, this subdued selection reveals a more restrained facet of Terry’s assertive jazz approach.


“It’s very hard to play a straight melody on vibes,” mused Terry, listening to a playback. “You keep wanting to play little figures and things around the tune and it’s really tough to stay on the melody line.”

He lapsed into silence for awhile, then abruptly observed, “You know, my wife is right about my playing. She says I play best on the songs I don’t know. Take this one, What Is There To Say. It was new to me. I guess on new tunes you have to think more. You don’t have time to get lazy and fall into playing ideas you’re used to.” (taken from the original liner notes)

A superb album, smooth jazz from the late 50´s. Perfect for an evening in a small Jazz-Bar.


Max Bennett (bass)
Med Flory (saxophone)
Terry Gibbs (vibraphone)
Bill Holman (saxophone)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Charlie Kennedy (saxophone)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Joe Maini (saxophone)
Jack Schwartz (saxophone)


01. Moonlight Serenade (Miller/Parrish) 3.03
02. Blues In The Night (Mercer/Arlen) 4.13
03. Impossible (Allen) 3.13
04. What Is There To Say (Harburg/Duke) 3.00
05. I Remember (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 2.48
06. The Things We Did Last Summer (Cahn/Stynes) 3.17
07. You Make Me Feel So Young (Gordon/Myrow) 2.46
08. At Last (Gordon/Warren) 2.46
09. Lazy Sunday (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 4.00
10. Every Day Is Spring With You (Legan/Gibbs)
11. With All My Love To You (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs/Legan) 3.26
12. Don’t Cry (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 3.59