Desert Island Jazz
Herb Gibson (2009)
Born in Minden, Louisiana, on Valentine’s Day in 1932, Herb Gibson has been a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area for decades, having moved to Oakland in 1951 and studying electrical engineering at UC Berkeley. Following some years of piano and drums, Herb split the difference, as it were, and in 1959 began playing the vibraphone.

During his 20 years in the US Air Force, four of them spent in Japan, he met and played with many of the jazz headliners who toured the world, including vibes greats Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson. Herb studied with Jackson, who became a close friend, always staying chez Gibson when in the Bay Area, and taking over the kitchen, as was his wont.

In 1972, Herb “retired” from the service, which was when he really began work, first playing jazz and other types of music both in the Bay Area and traveling throughout the world. Thereafter, he became manager of San Francisco clubs such as Spatz and Pier 47, eventually reopening the Jazz Workshop with Herbie Gee in 1996.

Some ten years later, Herb made his first recording as a leader, "Herb Gibson and Friends", the friends including the likes of multi-instrumentalist Eddie Harris and vocalist Jimmy Witherspoon. Several more CDs down the road (“Blue Vibes” and “Let’s Play”), herb has also contributed to "The Big Wide Grin" by his cousin, blues legend Keb Mo’, and to the soundtrack of the movie "Matrix Reloaded".
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Live at Birdland, Vol. 1 Split Kick (Blue Note)
# 2 Milt Jackson Jazz 'Round Midnight Just for a Thrill (Verve)
# 3 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman Autumn Serenade (Impulse)
# 4 Miles Davis Kind of Blue Freddie Freeloader (Columbia)
# 5 The Modern Jazz Quartet The Modern Jazz Quartet A Night in Tunisia (Atlantic)
# 6 Dinah Washington What a Difference a Day Makes! (LP) What a Difference a Day Made (Mercury)
# 7 Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery Bags Meets Wes S.K.J. (OJC)
Book Jazz magazines
Luxury Item Yarn to make some mallets
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