Born: October 25, 1937
Mike Gibbs - composer, arranger and trombonist has worked with many music luminaries, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Narada Michael Walden, Michael Mantler, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel, Bill Frisell.
Born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), he grew up playing trombone and piano and was awarded scholarships to attend Lenox School of Jazz and Tanglewood Summer School, where he studied with Gunther Schuller, George Russell, J.J.Johnson, Lukas Foss, and Iannis Xenakis. Having graduated from Berklee College of Music with diploma in Arranging and Composition in 1962, he moved to the U.K. played trombone for Tubby Hayes, Graham Collier, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, and by the 1970's was generally recognised as one of the leading young composer-arrangers in jazz....
Honorary Fellowship Birmingham Conservatoire
Mike Gibbs' 70th Birthday Concert * * * * CBSO Centre review by Peter Bacon There comes a tipping point in any memorable concert - it's that point when the pixie dust showers down from the magic wand. Immediately, what might have been perfectly acceptable and satisfying before becomes over-shadowed by a new brilliance, a new energy, and the performance attains, in computer-game speak, the next level.
It happened on Saturday evening, just after the interval, and there are no surprises who lifted the game.
The talk in the bar had been isn't it great, but it would be nice to hear a bit more of Frisell. Guitarist Bill Frisell, the biggest name on the stage, had been fulfilling the rhythm section role assigned him by bandleader Mike Gibbs, but here was his showcase moment.
The word unique is not one to use profligately, but it's bang on for Bill - he wove a solo that not only incorporated a complete history of American guitar styles but gave us a history of its music too, from blues to bluegrass, country to rock, and into contemporary jazz. He wrapped it all up in a brief reading of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. I was so delighted I could have wept with joy. The solos that followed, from Gerard Presencer, Julian Siegel and Hans Koller, were inspired by an added intensity and emotional depth as a result. This was a new Gibbs piece, As A Matter Of Fact, and a clear message that someone needs to get him back in the recording studio pretty soon.
Of course, this is not to suggest it had been average in any way before the interval. Gibbs' music, and his arrangements of other composers, shows a deep jazz knowledge and love, given a wider landscape by his classical and film influences. His film noir treatment of Monk's Round Midnight was a classic case in point.
View More Albums
Back In The Days
Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband: Back in the Days
Here's A Song For You
Europeana - Jazzphony No. 1
Directs The Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
nine years composer-in-residence Berklee Collage Music 1973, 1982
one year composer-in-residence Luzern Hochscule Musik , 2007-8