April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) and this year JAM is featuring several artists as part of the celebration, among them vibes pioneer Lionel Hampton. Throughout the month, Night Train teams up with Strange Currency and Straight No Chaser to join in the festivities with "Good Vibes Month" highlighting music of Hampton and many other great, forgotten, and rising stars of the vibes.
In 1921 the Leedy Manufacturing Company began marketing a descendent of the xylophone. With a hit from vaudeville performer Signor Lou Chiha "Friscoe" (with various spellings of his name) for Edison Records that featured 'vibratone bells' (also with several names including vibraharp and vibes) and some adjustments to the actual design, the vibraphone became a recognized member of the family of musical instruments. But where they would find their true home (and to this day their primary one) was in jazz.
Starting in the 1930s, most prominently with Lionel Hampton and also Red Norvo, the vibes became a lead instrument in jazz. Other great players would follow - including Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Bobby Hutcherson, Cal Tjader, and also Gary Burton, whose four-mallet technique enriched the vibes vocabulary. Today a new generation of players, including Stefon Harris, Jason Adasiewicz, and Warren Wolf, continue to make the vibes a vital part of jazz. Join us for all these artists and more during "Good Vibes" Month on the Night Train.
Lionel Hampton with a Fifties TV performance of "Flying Home"
Gary Burton and Chick Corea with a live version of a song Chick says in the intro you will recognize
Visit the home page for Jazz Appreciation Month.