Vibes

Vibes 4

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AllMusic Review by

Bill Ware III alters the lineup and adds a smattering of miscellaneous instruments on this, the fourth disc by his band Vibes. For starters, his regular rhythm mates, bassist Brad Jones and drummer E.J. Rodriguez, appear only on half the cuts; the others feature Dmitri Kolenski and Vince Cherico. Chris Theberge provides additional percussion, and Jay Rodriguez, Ware's colleague in the Groove Collective, makes a melodic appearance on tenor sax, flute, and vocals on "2 Butterflies." Ware crafts fairly ambitious string arrangements for violinist Rob Thomas and cellist Sara Wollan, bringing prickly dissonance to the unusual "Little Jack Russell," a reharmonized "Michelle" by the Beatles, and a couple of other tracks. Last but not least, Deborah Harry, who worked with Ware in the Jazz Passengers, rejoins him here in a vocal duet called "Me and You," a deliciously poppy track that sounds like something Donnie Hathaway and Roberta Flack might have recorded once upon a time. (Ware's love of old-school pop comes through again on his groovy closing rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes off of You.") Amid all these additional elements (including Ware's proficient Rhodes piano), the disc features a healthy amount of stripped-down trio interplay -- check out "Silk Flowers" and "Crebwalkin'."

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