Terry Gibbs is known for his hyperactive approach to the vibes, so it isn't surprising to hear him treat the piano in the same manner. After doing some piano duets with Steve Allen during an extended gig, Allen finally talked him into making his debut on record as a pianist. Like Lionel Hampton, he doesn't really use all five fingers on each hand, plus he has the benefit of either Allen or Donn Trenner playing the chords in the bass clef to free him as a soloist; the rest of the band includes guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Buddy Clark, and drummer Jack Sperling. The session mixes standards with a number of originals by the leader, all pretty much focusing on Gibbs' solos, though Ellis emerges just a bit from his background role in his original "Country Boy." None of the pieces is much over three minutes in length and this may be considered too much of a novelty date by some fans. But the music is consistently fun and light-hearted, so anyone who enjoys Terry Gibbs should look for this long unavailable Signature LP, which was briefly reissued in Europe by Fresh Sound.
Steve Allen Presents Terry Gibbs at the Piano Review
by Ken Dryden