The reissue of Eddie Costa's Guys and Dolls Like Vibes once again makes available one of his few dates as a leader. A talented vibraphonist (and also pianist, though he doesn't play it on this 1958 session), Costa leads a sterling quartet with the legendary Bill Evans on piano (although he was just starting to get noticed by the jazz press at the time), Wendell Marshall on bass, and drummer Paul Motian, in a Frank Loesser songbook taken from the musical Guys and Dolls. Costa and Evans mesh beautifully throughout, and Costa's solos are well crafted, particularly his long feature on the up-tempo opener, "Guys and Dolls." The leader goes from a soft bell-like a cappella introduction to "If I Were a Bell" to a suddenly driving arrangement, in which Evans sits out the first full chorus before gradually working his way in. Liner note writer Dick Katz notes the rhythmic originality in Costa's approach to "Luck Be a Lady," while Evans' solo introduction adds to the shear beauty of the ballad "I've Never Been in Love Before," and this time it is Costa who delays his entrance. Costa's death in an automobile accident at the age of 31 was a tragic loss for jazz, and the reissue of classic dates such as this one has been long overdue.
Guys and Dolls Like Vibes Review
by Ken Dryden