Kings of Swing

Terry Gibbs

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Kings of Swing Review

by Ken Dryden

Vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and clarinetist Buddy DeFranco have collaborated on many fine recordings; adding guitarist Herb Ellis to the mix for this series of live dates at Kimball's East (in tribute to Benny Goodman) just added some extra spice to an already simmering musical stew. The supporting rhythm section is an important ingredient as well, with pianist Larry Novak, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Butch Miles. There's a certain effortlessness to the performances, as if this sextet had been together for years, but that doesn't mean that everyone isn't playing his respective heart out on every number. Highlights include Ellis' bluesy opening solo in "Soft Winds," a lively jam of "Just One of Those Things," and a lyrical take of "The Man I Love." There are no real surprises within this release because these musicians have all proved themselves many times over throughout their long careers. Swing fans will definitely want to acquire this warmly recommended CD.

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