Utilizing vibraphone and guitar as lead instrumental voices isn’t just an unusual pairing on the contemporary jazz scene, but together they form an organically warm and earthy sound. Cast in settings etched from impassioned fusion expeditions and soul-powered funk grooves, Vibes Alive’s third album, “Vibrasonic,” is a refreshing listen. It drops on March 6th, and it includes 10-tracks that are written and produced by vibraphonist Dirk Richter and guitarist Randall Crissman. The title track is available right now.
Making albums with the frequency of a total eclipse, each Vibes Alive outing is equally rare and special. If there was a third member of the duo, it would be Jeff Lorber, the GRAMMY-winning keyboardist and fusion pioneer who has joined Richter and Crissman for all three Vibes Alive albums. Lorber plays keys, synthesizers, piano and synth bass on “Vibrasonic” and mixed a few of the tracks. Legendary drummer Vinnie Colaiuta anchors the rhythm section with Jimmy Johnson on bass and Luis Conte on percussion.
“Vibes Alive is a creative endeavor based on the friendship that I’ve had with Randall since we met when we were in college. Randall and I always got off on the way the Hammond organ, pianos and guitars sounded. Then getting into mallet percussions, specifically the vibraphone, because of the frequencies that are created – the overtones – the possibilities for harmonic enhancement, that kind of takes you to the next level. We wanted the music to be alive, to be spontaneous and creative and we want that creativity to lean into the idea of a good universe, of love for the planet and of love for your neighbor. Vibes Alive is that connection between what you love and what you feel most in love with and how to be creative in the midst,” said Richter about the duo’s inception and purpose.
“Randall and I have had this experience connecting with people – the musicians we record with - and have them willingly connect with us,” concludes Richter. “We have this opportunity to give love to the world, and to see what the world gives back is the greatest joy. It’s like a sign on a post that tells you you’re going in the right direction because everything is a blessing and it moves your heart. It’s almost like everything becomes a miracle. You know you’re in good company. You step back, take a deep breath…that’s Vibes Alive. It’s the joy of living.”