The Italian trio of Vibrham was formed in 2005 and has just released this, their first album, as a statement of their intent to play fresh, original music using every style and genre at their disposal. Inspirations for the tracks range from funk to swing, blues to latin, jazz to drum ‘n bass. Not only are the compositions somewhat innovative in their synthesis of styles, but the musicianship throughout the album is superb. The Hammond organ combined with vibraphone gives the trio a very distinctive sound that is all their own.
The album is completely original compositions by the band members. The first track, "Walkin' in Harlem", was written by organist Francesco Fabbri in honor of the time he spent in Harlem taking lessons from Dr. Lonnie Smith. Opening the album on their funky foot, the band gives this tune a lot of life and (warning!) it is highly danceable.
The instrumentation alone will turn your ear. While the vibes generally take on the melodic role, the organ adds a depth and power to the overall sound, backing up the smoothness of the vibes. Next to this interesting combination, drummer Massimo Discepoli sometimes takes the backseat, and at some points could have more conversation with the other two instruments. He does a fantastic job, however, of laying down the groove and keeping the tunes moving. His compositional contribution to the album, the latin groove "Icaro", is a great example of layering lines to create a very full sound with sparse instrumentation. And, as always, the groove plays on.
Another tune of interest is "Kandisky", which follows the drum and bass style with some excellent work by Discepoli and amazing vibe playing by Jacopo Bazzarri. Lots of tempo changes and the occasional rhythm change-up keep the tune moving the whole time, providing an inspiring landscape for the soloists. Fabbri’s organ solo here is probably his best one on the album. Bazzari shines on "Sballad", which he and Fabbri composed, where he plays both vibes and marimba in this melodic, yet moving, piece.The band has a website (which appears to be under construction) as well as a myspace page where you can download some of the tracks from this album. Definitely a young band worth checking out.