The vibraphone was developed in the '20's and found soon the way to jazz musicians. Jazz legends like Lionel Hampton, Gary Burton, Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader and Dave Samuels made the instrument popular. In the acid jazz genre interprets are besides the famous Roy Ayers, Roger Beaujolais (The Beaujolais Band, Vibraphonic) and Mike Benn (Duboniks). Vibraphone players of the smooth jazz genre are Michael Ortega and Dirk Richter.

Vibist Dirk Richter joined Randall Crissman, a guitar playing television and movie composer. Both founded the group Vibes Alive called after their first album, which was released in 1997 on Syndrome Records. Guest-musicians on this ambitious album were Jeff Lorber, Luis Conte, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Haslip and Carlos Vega. After a long hiatus of eleven years Vibes Alive is back with their sophomore album After Hours (2008). Guests on the new album are Jeff Lorber, Luis Conte, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Johnson and Gary Meek. According to Dirk Richter, the music is about “going back to the basics of creating music.”

The album starts with the up-tempo Lighthouse. Dirk Richter defines the theme on the vibraphone, while Jeff Lorber answers on the Wurlitzer electric piano. This tune will be released as first single.

After Hours is featuring saxophonist Gary Meek, who accompanies Dirk's performance in a smooth intimate way. Dirk Richter prefers short themes with a hypnotic repetition. These themes are usually the starting point for short solos.

The romantic ballade Hard To Say Goodbye calms down listener's mood. On Lunch Track Jeff Lorber's performs on the Wurlitzer piano and the clavinet. Piano and vibes are complementing each other perfectly.

Tunes like Open Door reveal the brilliant arrangement of all instruments running seamlessly in each other. Sambahia (Samba and Bahia) brings some Brazilian flavor. While Luis Conte and Vinnie Colaiuta hold up the Bossa Nova flag, Dirk Richter (vibes) and Garry Meek (flute) shines with mesmerizing solos.

We can enjoy the luckiest moments in the shady or sunny places of our gardens. In The Garden reminds of these moments with a  refreshing melody. Bright Lights features trumpet player Bob Summer, who accompanies Dirk so perfectly that you have to listen closely to recognize that two instrumentalists are performing. Randall Crissmann adds a furious guitar solo with a distortion note.

Like the colorful flower Magnolia grows this tune with all its blooms in your mind. Walk Away streams from a theme, which is repeated by the instruments in swinging and vibrations like church bells.

The final Blew Blues is a short excursion into blues and jazz. A great jam session with much interaction and improvisation. A coherent sound of professional musicians.

We clearly recognize, the return of vibraphone is overdue. After Hours is the first step for the renaissance of vibes. A restoration build by Vibes Alive.



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  • Album information:

    Title: After Hours
    Artist: Vibes Alive
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:44:36
    Genre: General Jazz
    Label: Swing Ding Records


    01 Lighthouse [4:24]
    02 After Hours [3:59]
    03 Hard To Say Goodbye [3:26]
    04 Lunch Truck [3:48]
    05 Open Door [4:05]
    06 Sambahia [4:14]
    07 In The Garden [4:04]
    08 Bright Lights [4:57]
    09 Magnolia [4:30]
    10 Walk Away [3:36]
    11 Blew Blues [3:32]