Terry Gibbs has left an indelible mark on the jazz world since 1947. With more than 65 albums to his credit and as the creator of over 300 compositions, the vibist continues to impress his fans with the addition of 52nd & Broadway: Songs of the Bebop Era to his repertoire. Gibbs pays homage to the jazz artists and their timeless standards with the accompaniment of an excellent rhythm section, a string section, and guest soloists James Moody, Nicholas Payton, Sam Most, and Tom Ranier. The 12-track recording opens with Monk's "Round Midnight," which Gibbs treats as a bossa nova. With two superior solos and sublime call and response from Gibbs on vibes and Payton on trumpet, this song is both reflective and buoyant. On Lester Young's blues "Jumping With Symphony Sid," tenor saxophonist master James Moody and Gibbs compliment each other with their bouncing bebop elements and share that personal quality so essential in great jazz. No homage to the Bebop Era would be complete without "Groovin' High," one of the signature songs from the time period. Great soloing from Gibbs, Payton, and Moody (now playing alto saxophone) makes this song a keeper. While Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker played the song at a blazing tempo on most occasions, Gibbs' tempos get many different treatments. Further, his ability to swing pretty on "Night in Tunisia" is one more reason to cherish this rendition. One of the many highlights is his rendition of Billie Holiday's big hit "Lover Man," as an affecting ballad with additional colors from Sam Most's alto flute. 52nd & Broadway: Songs of the Bebop Era belongs in every serious jazz collection.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein