GERRY GIBBS BIOGRAPHY

GIBBS: DESERT PIC 8….54
Gerry Gibbs has performed, recorded and toured with some of the biggest names in Jazz history. Artists Include:
  • Ron Carter
  • Mccoy Tyner
  • Stanley Clarke
  • Alice Coltrane
  • Dewey Redman
  • Kenny Barron
  • Cassandra Wilson
  • James Moody
  • Hubert Laws
  • Woody Shaw
  • Brad Mehldau
  • Clark Terry
  • John Abercrombie
  • Tom Harrell
  • Sam Rivers
  • Mike Stern
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Milt Hinton
  • Patrice Rushen
  • Joe Henderson
  • Larry Coryell
  • Mulgrew Miller
  • Randy Brecker
  • Parliament Funkadelics
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Cedar Walton
  • David “Fathead” Newman
  • Roy Hargrove
  • Eddie Harris
  • Don Pullen
  • Donald Byrd
  • Flying Lotus
  • Gary Bartz
  • Kenny Kirkland
  • Joe Lovano
  • Larry Goldings
  • Ravi Coltrane
  • Nicholas Payton
  • Billy Childs
  • Oliver Lake
  • Joey Defrancesco
  • Rose Royce
  • Supersax
  • Steve Turre
  • Sir Roland Hanna
  • Harold Land
  • Lew Soloff
  • Paquito D’Rivera
  • Jay Mcshann
  • Doug & Jean Carn
  • Greg Osby
  • George Cables
  • Dave Liebman
  • Bob Cranshaw
  • Benny Maupin
  • Alan Broadbent
  • Reggie Workman
  • Ralph Moore
  • Denilo Perez
  • James Carter
  • Buddy Defranco
  • Arthur Blythe
  • Eddie Henderson
  • Horace Tapscott
  • Comedian Steve Allen
  • Walter Bishop Jr.
  • Conti Condoli
  • Azar Lawrence
  • Joanne Brackeen
  • Rufus Reid
  • George Garzone
  • Warren Wolf
  • Eric Alexander
  • James Williams
  • Ernie Watts
  • Frank Rosolino
  • Frank Morgan
  • Harold Mabern
  • Stefon Harris
  • Urszula Dudziak
  • Billy Harper
  • Uri Caine
  • Ben Williams
  • Philip Harper
  • Vincent Herring
  • Mark Feldman
  • Bob Sheppard
  • Don Braden
  • Including Terry Gibbs (Gerry’s father) & many others
Gerry Gibbs is a Grammy nominated Drummer, Producer, Band Leader, Composer & Arranger. As a Solo Artist, Gibbs has released 9 Jazz Recordings. His first, back in 1996, ‘Gerry Gibbs Sextet – The Thrasher’ features Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane with Quincy Jones as Executive Producer, while his last two recordings: ‘Gerry Gibbs & The Thrasher Dream Trio’,’We’re Back’ and “Live In Studio” feature Jazz luminaries Ron Carter & Kenny Barron. In 2014 and 2015, all 3 Trio recordings topped the National Jazz Radio Charts; spending 15 weeks between the three CD’s at #1 while ‘The Thrasher Dream Trio’ received a Grammy Nomination in 2014. Gibbs forthcoming Jazz recording: ‘Live in Studio’ also features the rhythm section of Ron Carter & Kenny Barron throughout while, this time around, added guests include: renowned Trumpeter Roy Hargrove and Award-Winning Vocalist Cassandra Wilson. In November 2015 The Gerry Gibbs  “Thrasher Dream Trio” has once again returned to #1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Charts as the most played Jazz CD across the country for 2 weeks. This would be their third #1 CD in a row in less than two years for 15 weeks total. Since the first jazz radio charts started being documented going back 14 years to 2002, only two other artist in 14 years have had three or more #1 consecutive CD’s in a row.

Following the successful reception of the last two Thrasher Dream Trio recordings, Gibbs has quickly returned to the studio. Entitled “Thrasher Dream Trio Live in Studio”, the CD once again features rhythm section titans Ron Carter & Kenny Barron throughout, while this time his guests include renowned trumpeter Roy Hargrove and award-winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson. In November 2015, The Gerry Gibbs and his “Thrasher Dream Trio” has once again returned to #1 on the JazzWeek Jazz Charts as the most played Jazz CD across the country. This would be their third #1 CD in a row in less than two years for 15 weeks total. Since the first jazz radio charts started being documented going back 14 years to 2002, only two other artist in 14 years have had three or more #1 consecutive CD’s in a row.

Recorded at the famed Systems Two Studio in Brooklyn, NY before a Live audience of invite-only musicians, music industry insiders and friends, the CD features 16 gorgeous re-workings of one-time Top 40 Classics mostly from the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Though many of the selections have been covered by a countless number of crooners and popular singers, few of the tracks on ‘Live in Studio’ are played, performed or recorded these days and surely not collected on one recording. The unorthodox idea to bring together these tunes on one single ‘concept recording’ developed from Gibbs dialing in daily to KWXY, a station out of Palm Springs, CA, that broadcasts a playlist featuring classic standards originally popularized by the likes of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Jones, Julie London, Johnny Mathis, Roy Rogers, Doris Day, Charlie Pride, and Esquivel, as well as campy lounge recordings from the 1960’s. As Gibbs points out, “some might refer to these tunes today as Muzak, elevator or doctor’s office music, but I’ve always loved the inherently great melodies and song-writing craft from this era.” Gibbs has surely found a fertile treasure trove of inspiration to recast such classic melodies in a modern jazz context and with plenty of room for outstanding improvisations. Choosing to dive into the studio this time out with no rehearsals or written arrangements, Gibbs kept things loose, directing the proceedings with only simple tempo and groove outlines while allowing the tunes to evolve in the more-than-capable hands of Ron Carter and Kenny Barron. Added to the mix was the late-breaking development of including trumpet great Roy Hargrove and vocalist Cassandra Wilson. Each adds an individual, stylistic warmth and charm to the tracks on which they appear.

The result is a jazz recording of undeniable class and grace, with catchy and comforting melodies often associated as “Easy Listening” and reinterpreted here with swinging jazz clarity and modern vision. Far from any notion that this could be called ‘muzak’, here some of the greatest names in jazz working today deliver elegantly swinging re-workings of melodic pop chestnuts. Gibbs has it right: start with great melodies, entrust them to the invited masters, and take us all on the ride. Elevator? No. Elevated? Most definitely.

With Gibbs at the helm, the 16 tracks maintain a consistent, sophisticated sense of swing and groove throughout. Ron Carter and Kenny Barron, as in Gibbs’ last two records with these masters, swing with the effortless command and finesse that only they truly can. The Hal David/Burt Bacharach-penned “Wives And Lovers”, once popularized by Andy Williams, starts the CD off and reflects the elegant chemistry and deep swinging pockets that have become a consistent trademark for this wizardly trio. Ennio Morricone’s classic “Spartacus Love Theme” is removed from its original 3/4 waltz time feel and cooked up rather as an up-tempo 4/4 funk. Fans of the music behind the Charlie Brown animated series will delight with a slow and funky makeover of “Cast Your Fate to The Wind,” with its nod to the great Vince Guaraldi Trio. “Music To Watch the Girls Go By”, also popularized by Andy Williams in the 1950’s, is treated with a slow, Caribbean groove while Kenny Barron delivers spatial voicings to perfectly air out the laid-back feel. Neil Hefti & Bobby Troup’s beautiful “Girl Talk” harkens back to the golden era of 50’s cocktail jazz and the Basie band.

The addition of a vocalist to the Dream Trio is a first. Gerry, Ron nor Kenny had ever played with Cassandra Wilson before, but in typical Gibbs fashion, it seemed a worthy and exciting experiment to bring her into the session as part of his “let’s see what happens” approach. This is particularly brave considering Gibbs’ commitment to no rehearsals or arrangements. Cassandra delivers her dreamy, majestic and deep-toned vocal luster on Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love,” done here as both a breezy Bossa Nova and a medium jazz swing. Her relaxed, even laid-back, phrasing sits perfectly inside the Norman Gimbel-penned “Watch What Happens,” while the trio gives it an up tempo Bossa Nova flavor.

Hargrove lends his adept phrasing and muted trumpet to the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner classic, “On a Clear Day,” a medium swing reminiscent of Miles Davis’s early/mid 50’s period. Hargrove pulls out his butter-toned flugelhorn for the delicate reading of Michel Legrand’s “What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?” Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini’s “Charade” is transformed to a fast burner and features dazzling solos by both Roy and Kenny. Cassandra Wilson and Roy Hargrove appear together on a tender reading of Bacharach’s “Alfie,”’ conjuring up a classic 1940’s vibe. Gibbs’ drumming provides a stable harness throughout with adroit and tasteful interplay along with polished rhythmic flair.

Gerry Gibbs is the son of jazz vibraphone legend & bandleader Terry Gibbs. Besides leading his own bands, projects and studio productions, Gerry is also an in-demand drummer, having performed, recorded and toured with a who’s who in jazz, funk, electronic & world music, among them: McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Stanley Clarke, Joe Henderson, Hubert Laws, James Moody, Sam Rivers, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, Eddie Harris, Mike Stern, Larry Coryell, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Brad Mehldau, Parliament Funkadelic & Electronic Music Pioneer Flying Lotus, to name but a few. Modern Drummer Magazine features Gerry in its December 2015 issue.

Born in New York City, Gerry grew up in Southern California and started playing the drums (given to him by the great Buddy Rich) at the age of 4. By the time he was 7, he had already appeared on various TV shows. On The Steve Allen Show in 1971, for example, Gerry played a three minute drum solo and later, on To Tell The Truth, Gerry traded drum choruses with TV celebrity Bob Crane (who played Hogan on the hit TV show “Hogan’s Heroes”).

By the time he was 18, Gerry had become a professional musician. He worked steadily with his father’s many groups throughout Southern California and on numerous domestic and international tours. By age 22, Gerry had already performed as a sideman with: Alice Coltrane, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd, Buddy DeFranco, Harold Land, Benny Maupin, Doug Carne, Larry Gales, Horace Tapscott, Frank Morgan, Conti Condoli, Frank Rosolino, Alan Broadbent, Ernie Watts, Billy Childs, Parliament Funkadelic and Rose Royce, among many others.

In 1987, at age 23 and seeking greater challenge and exposure to the mecca of the jazz music scene, Gerry packed his bags and relocated to New York City. Within his first three weeks of arriving, Gerry took over for drummer Winard Harper, 6 nights a week, as the house drummer for The Blue Note Jazz Club ‘After Hours Band,’ led by saxophonist Justin Robinson, and which also included pianist Steven Scott. During this time, Winard Harper & Philip Harper (Harper Brothers) called on Gerry as a sub for Winard as needed, for their own heavy touring schedule.

Gerry’s earlier bands were often a sought-after choice for performing at the world famous Village Gate in NYC. In a three year period, his various projects performed 18 one-week engagements to packed and appreciative audiences. Gerry would eventually take one of his well-rehearsed bands out on the road. It was during an engagement in Los Angeles that Gerry and his band caught the attention of drummer/producer Stix Hooper (The Jazz Crusaders) which led to Gibbs’ first signing by a major label as a solo artist.  In 1995, Gerry released his first CD for the Qwest/Warner Brothers label: “Gerry Gibbs Sextet – The Thrasher,” featuring Ravi Coltrane”. Produced by Stix Hooper along with Executive Producer Quincy Jones, this debut recording features Gerry in both drumming and writing chairs, with his original compositions and arrangements an early indication of his modus operandi for recordings to come.

In New York, Gerry’s reputation grew as both a sought-after sideman and as a leader, and his schedule included vigorous touring. Adventurous projects during his early years in NY included his ‘Thrasher Keyboard Trio’ featuring Brad Mehldau, Grammy-winner Billy Childs & mega-pop oroducer/keyboardist Greg Kurstin. It featured 13 keyboards and drums! Gibbs’ ‘The Third Trio From The Sun’ included the use of 25 instruments and featured alto sax legend ARTHUR BLYTHE along with four African Dancers. In 2000, the trio released “First Visit” (Viewpoint Records) to critical acclaim. During the early 2000’s, Gerry performed numerous concerts that featured his varied writing skills. Among them was a 40-piece ensemble consisting of a big band, a gospel choir, a rapper, a sitar and 6-piece rhythm section. This ensemble was selected to open up for New Orleans legend Dr. John.

Gerry’s association with Whaling City Sound has proven to be a fruitful collaboration, with all releases garnering critical praise as well as wide acceptance and rotation on jazz radio. Gibbs 18-piece Thrasher Big Band, for which he wrote and/or arranged all of the music, is captured on the 2006 Live CD recording “Live at Luna” (Whaling City Sound). The CD received 3.5 stars in Down Beat magazine and reached #41 on the JazzWeek radio chart.

With concerts from California to New York, including four sold out shows at Dizzy’s Coca Cola in 2014, The Thrasher Big Band Has included many of finest players in jazz including: Marvin Stamm, Robin Eubanks, Eric Alexander, (The Late)Lew Soloff, Conrad Herwig, Vincent Herring, and Garry Smulyan, among many others. Gibbs’ all-star thrasher big band has also featured many jazz

Greats as guest artists, including: Terry Gibbs, Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Paquito D’rivera, Tom Harrell, James Moody & Jon Hendricks.

2010 saw the release of “Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975” (Wailing City Sound). 26 selections were cherry- picked by Gibbs and culled from 16 live Miles Davis classic electric-period recordings and the band channels the spontaneity, intense energy and exploration of those original performances.

Gerry’s first “Thrasher Dream Trio” CD featuring Ron Carter & Kenny Barron (Whaling City Sound) reached the #1 spot on Jazz Week’s radio charts across the US for a 6 weeks, from early Dec. 2013 to late Jan. 2014. It also garnered Gibbs his first Grammy Nomination. The second Trio Recording: “We’re Back: Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio” (Whaling City Sound) returns with Ron Carter & Kenny Barron and includes special guests: vibraphonist Warren Wolf, organist Larry Goldings and saxophonist Steve Wilson. The CD also reached #1 on jazz radio, this time for 7 straight weeks (Nov. to Dec. 2014).

With a wealth of experience behind him, with his Three most recent CD’s reaching #1 at radio and another outstanding Thrasher Dream Trio + Guests to be released Fall of 2015, Gibbs is still only just getting warmed up. Gerry’s bred-in-the-bone approach to outstanding jazz drumming, composing & arranging is evident to all who work with him, and his reputation for assembling many of the greatest names in jazz to take part in his unique conceptual productions, from trio and sextet all the way to big band and beyond, in recordings and live concerts, all contribute to his lasting trademark as a formidable bandleader and gifted jazz talent with many more outstanding concepts, concerts and collaborations to come.

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