Vibes and Brad Jones' AKA Alias

With Drawn, and Uncivilized Poise (Knitting Factory)

Record Reviews


With Drawn (Knitting Factory)

Brad Jones' AKA Alias

Uncivilized Poise (Knitting Factory)

Vibes contains three Jazz Passengers members, vibist Bill Ware, bassist Brad Jones, and drummer E.J. Rodriguez. That seems like a pretty stripped-down lineup, but they create a far greater variety of timbres and textures, because Ware uses four mallets, enabling him to play chords, and employs electronic effects that allow him to approximate the sound of an electric guitarist or organist. Beyond this, vibes are not the lead instrument; on three tracks, Rodriguez, a top Latin percussionist, plays unaccompanied. In addition to originals supplied by all three members, "Monk's Mood," "House of the Rising Sun," Bill Withers' "Lovely Day," Burt Bachrach's "They Long to be Close to You," and "Makin' Whoopee" are heard, but they're arranged in distinctive ways: "Makin' Whoopee" is done in 3/4 time, while "House of the Rising Sun" is given a psychedelic treatment. The improvising here is outstanding. With Vibes and with his own group, AKA Alias, bassist Jones demonstrates consummate ability not only on his preferred instrument, but also as a musician, having written all the tunes on Uncivilized Poise, which are quite impressive; "Three Guesses" has a floating theme played over a 7/4 beat, while the calypso-like "Drag Queen Race" uses 5/4 against 4/4, and "Po Man's Ecstasy" is a swirl of sound out of which evolve solos. His work can be percussive or melodic; the history of the jazz bass seems summarized in his style. Jones's companions, drummer Abe Fogle, keyboardist Jeff Lawrence, guitarist David Gilmore, and alto saxman/flutist Bob DeBellis, as well as vocalist D.K. Dyson and rapper Beans, who appear on two tracks apiece, hold up their end. Two contemporary albums, one collective past.

(With Drawn) ****

(Uncivilized Poise) ***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Fall Platters
Jeff Lofton
Jericho (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 29, 2019

Texas Platters
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Harvey Pekar
Hey, Emily
Hey, Emily

Aug. 8, 2008

Better Git It in Your Soul
Better Git It in Your Soul
Charles Mingus Among Us

June 16, 2006

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle