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Vibes

With Drawn

Knitting Factory Works

Forget your pre-conceived notions about the vibraphone. Bill Ware is taking the instrument to a new place with his trio, Vibes. They establish a unique resonance, painting and mixing several shades of blue, evoking images of film noir , transmitting nocturnal moods with groove and texture.

   After a decade of providing the rhythmic foundation for the Jazz Passengers, Ware, Brad Jones on bass, and E.J. Rodriguez on drums and percussion, took their trio to the forefront. The trio went from performing after Passengers gigs in small European cafes to doing weekly nights at the Knitting Factory tap bar. The eponymously titled Vibes captured their live shows; With Drawn is their first studio effort. Ware is a founding member of the Passengers, and also records with Groove Collective. Jones and Rodriguez are very tight, currently performing with Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos.

   The very essence of Vibes is mood in Technicolor. The combination of Jones' perfectly executed groove and Ware's rich resonance begins almost immediately on With Drawn , and continues with different shades of the same vibe, but in different contexts -- swing, Latin, and even a few covers (i.e. "House of the Rising Sun," "Close To You"). The vibraphone is infamous for crowding space, but the trio handles texture very well, leaving it open where necessary and shifting gears by adding interlude tracks with Rodriguez on solo percussion. With Drawn defines Vibes as one of the many innovative groups coming out of the Manhattan scene, playing their own style, creating their own unique world. And it may be the most effective chill remedy you could ever own on a CD.

Knitting Factory Works, 74 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013; http://www.knittingfactory.com/

--Brian Carpenter