"Excellent jazz album."Music Emotion, 04-5-2018
Marimba / vibes veteran Steve Hobbs releases his strongest release in his forty three year career on Challenge Records. The recording is centered mostly around cutting edge originals by Hobbs encompassing modern mainstream examples of post bop, Latin, Funk, Calypso, and more….arranged and performed with the typical creative and hard edged energy you are used to hearing on his past New York Recordings. Hobbs centered the music around marimba, dedicating the recording to his mentor and late friend Bobby Hutcherson.
This is the group’s third recording. It’s a hot all-star group consisting of Steve Hobbs / marimba and vibes, Adam Kolker / saxes, Bill O’Connell / piano, Peter Washington / bass and John Riley / drums. The groups first CD Spring Cycle, released in 2007 was nominated Jazz Recording of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association of America and made it to #3 on the Jazz Week Jazz Chart. Next in 2010 the group released the critically acclaimed Vibes Straight Up, which hit #1 on its second week of airplay on Jazz Week and remained at #1 for seven weeks!
"This album is a beautiful tribute to Bobby Hutcherson. The playing is masterful, the compositions beautiful, and show a Bobby Hutcherson influence - in essence, a heartfelt and touching tribute." Ron Miller (pianist and composer for Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Red Rodney, Joe Lavano, Gerry Bergonzi, Ira Sullivan, Jerry Coker, Bruce Hornsby and more).
"This is a top notch release by one of the very best vibes and marimba players around today, bar none. Great playing, great musicians, top quality sound and very attractive choice of material. Highly recommended!". Randy Johnston, guitarist for Lionel Hampton, Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean, Etta Jones, Jack McDuff, Houston Person, Dr. Lonnie Smith and more.
“Steve Hobbs has long been one of the most talented, if underrated vibraphonists around.” Scott Yanow, Jazz Times
“Hobbs sounds killin’!” Mike Mainieri, award winning vibraphonist and producer
“I sure have enjoyed working several projects with Steve Hobbs; you can expect to hear lots more from him in the future.” Kenny Barron, pianist
“Vibes Straight Up means swinging and also moving!” John Ephland, Downbeat
Excellent jazz album.
Music Emotion, 04-5-2018
Of course there is virtuoso and mobile music playing and dominates the use of the marimba, which gives the album its own color.
All in all, this is an enjoyable set that one could imagine Bobby Hutcherson enjoying.
This is a proper tribute to Hutcherson if there ever was one, even though it wasn't planned as such. Hobbs' detailed liner notes are informative, entertaining, required reading.
The augmentation of Hobbs' long-held rhythm section with Kolker's reeds adds needed tonal variety. Since everything is more than thoroughly explained in the booklet all I can add is everything about this issue is first rate.