Gerry Gibbs – Thrasher Dream Trio – Whaling City Sound WCS 065, 72:59 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
(Gerry Gibbs – drums; Ron Carter – bass; Kenny Barron – piano)
There is an old proverb which says: “the apple does not fall very far from the tree.” Or not. In the jazz music world, there are relatively few examples of children following in their parent’s footsteps with the possible exception of Ravi Coltrane and Natalie Cole. Perhaps this might have been a result of the peripatetic and unconventional lives that most musicians led. In any event drummer Gerry Gibbs seems to have defied these odds, and as the son of vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, has demonstrated the musical chops to make his own way in the jazz world. In this release entitled Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio, he has hooked up with two jazz icons to deliver a robust trio recording that would certainly make his father proud.
Kenny Barron is one of those pianist whose pedigree and endeavors have extended over a fifty-year period and has produced an extensive and impressive discography both as a leader and a sideman. He takes center stage in this recording with his impeccable playing, starting out of the gate with Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy” where he rattles off the piece in an intense tempo with a sonorous bass solo from Ron Carter half-way through. This is followed by the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune “Promises, Promises” lovingly offered in waltz beat, which adds to its interest and gives it an unusual jump. Bassist Ron Carter is not only an accompanist extraordinaire, but he has been a leader on many of his own albums where has had an occasion to showcase his technique and talent both on bass and cello. He is also an arranger of some note as evidenced by the previously mentioned “Epistrophy”, but also contributed the chart for his own composition “A Feeling”. This latter piece is a perfect example of the trio working in harmony and demonstrating their interplay capabilities as the tune has ample opportunities for each member to show some sparkle. It is often a challenge when musicians are brought together who have never previously played with each other to respond to the situation so that the best results are delivered. This is not the case here, as Gibbs is an attentive and energetic drummer, with Barron being a pianist who has nearly unlimited resourcefulness, and Carter who has a sparkling tone and steadfast technique.
So whether Gibbs plays the ebullient time-keeper on Kenny Barron’s own tune “Sunshower”, or Barron’s fierce tempo on “The Shadow Of Your Smile” or Carter delivering his big tone on Stevie Wonder’s pop tart “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” the band does not disappoint either singularly or as a unit. This is a stylish, authoritative, confident piano trio excursion.
TrackList: Epistrophy; Promises, Promises; When I Dream; The Shadow Of Your Smile; The Woman On The TV Screen; The Eye Of The Hurricane; Tell Me A Bedtime Story; A Feeling; Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me; Sunshower; Here Comes Ron; Impressions; The Thrasher; Mr. Clean; The Theme