Diversion: Marimba Queens Meet Insane Bassist

Rifftides reader David Peterkofsky inquired about modern-day jazz marimba players. In the course of searching, I ran across a 1940s soundie with marimbists galore. This has little to do with jazz, but it’s an opportunity to see a bass player who makes Chubby Jackson seem catatonic. 


As for Mr. Peterkofsky’s question, Bobby Hutcherson, Stefon Harris, Dave Samuels, Cal Tjader, Mike Mainieri, Emil Richards and Gary Burton have all used marimba as well as vibes. If readers have leads to other current marimba soloists, please use the comment link below to let us know.

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  1. says

    If I may, Joe Locke has recorded from time to time on marimba, particularly his recording with Tim Garland and Geoffrey Keezer in the Storms/ Nocturnes trio ( Storms/Nocturnes and Rising Tide, both on Sirocco) and his duets with fellow mallet player Christos Rafalides, “Van Gogh by Numbers” on Joe’s Wire Walker Music label.
    Other recrdings that feature Joe on marimba are his duest with Frank Kimbrough (“The Willow on Omnitone), Joe’s “Four Walls of Freedom” , “State of Soul”(Sirocco) and his recording for Japan as the New Sound Quartet (Eighty-Eights) with Geoffrey Keezer.
    In addition when you consider his sideman appearances that feature the marimba ( Dianne Reeves, Eddie Henderson, Brad Meldahl, Wayne Escoffery and many others), Joe has really been featured on the instrument quite often.

  2. David P says

    There’s also Dave Pike, a vibist who also plays the marimba on his “Jazz for the Jet Set” album. Calling that album “jazz” is really a bit of a stretch — it’s more along the lines of lounge music or soul-jazz, really. Interesting side note: Herbie Hancock plays organ (!) on that album.

  3. Mike O'Sullivan says

    A british group, the Jim Hart/Roger Beaujolais Quartet feature one of the co-leaders (Beaujolais) playing marimba. I’ve got a good BBC radio broadcast of them.