Cottontail – 1982

Terry Gibbs

An uptempo romp by the vibraphonist’s big band

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Terry Gibbs had a rather remarkable and long career as one of jazz’s greatest vibraphonists.

A radio broadcast from the 1930s features him playing classical music a decade before he came his own with Woody Herman’s Second Herd, followed by associations with Benny Goodman and Steve Allen.

Gibbs led his own bands from the 1950s on until his retirement around 2019.

In 1982 he led a specially assembled all-star big band (check out the personnel at the end of this clip), performing Al Cohn’s arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Cottontail.”

There are brief spots for trumpeter Conte Candoli, Terry Harrington on tenor, and pianist Paul Smith as drummer Frank Capp drives the band.

Terry Gibbs is well featured during this uptempo performance which packs a lot of fireworks into its three minutes.

-Scott Yanow


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