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MP3 Hawk Arps and the Laureates - Vibra Cum Laude

Hawk brings together some of the greatest musicians on the West Coast to create a vibraphone album of sublime diversity of styles including meringue, funk, soul, samba, swing, blues, bolero, bossa, and others; it''s original, beautiful and addictive.

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Crossover Jazz, JAZZ: World Fusion

Please allow me to introduce myself and my new album “Hawk Arps and the Laureates - Vibra Cum Laude” to you. My name is Hawk Arps and I have been playing the vibraphone in many different settings for over thirty years. I am very fortunate to play with a band as talented as The Laureates on this disk.

The Laureates include:

- Grammy nominated for best Latin Jazz album in 2006… Jovino Santos Neto on piano and accordion
- L.A.’s multi-platinum hit studio guitarist… Don Peake (recorded and played with Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Jackson Five, many many others…)
- Hammond B-3 king of Seattle/Portland underground music scene… Joe Doria
- Brazilian virtuoso on guitar and cavalquinho… Kiko Freitas
- One of the best and busiest drummers in the Northwest, fluent in styles ranging from global beats to gospel, jazz, and funk… Jeff “Bongo” Busch
- Young yet wise and experienced graduate from Cornish School of the Arts on electric and acoustic bass… Tim Carey
- From the San Francisco Bay area; oud, violin, and viola master of Eastern European musical styles… Gary Haggerty

Every tune on this album is an original song written by Hawk with the exception of two classic jazz standards set in fresh and original arrangements. These songs are:

1. - Larksong: a tango/bolero written for our friend Lark
2. - K-17: a meringue written on my son Kestrel’s 17th birthday
3. - Light the Candle: a bossa nova written for my wife Heather
4. - Meterology: a New Orleans funk tune written in the style of the Meters
5. - I’m Guilty: a beautiful modern jazz style song
6. - Slam Dunk: an organ featured swing tune written for my son Mica
7. - Stardust: set in a R&B style and includes the seldom heard intro verse
8. - Thursday After Val: kinda klezmeresque, written after my friend Valerie died
9. - Metaphysical: a waltz/ballad to snuggle up to
10. - Sambril: a samba written in the month of Abril (April in Portuguese)
11. - Gray Teeth: written for Ray Charles shortly after he died
12. - Lush Life: this beautiful standard is played as a solo piece in my “stride-vibe” style

This recording features me, Hawk Arps, playing the vibraphone, which is an instrument of extreme versatility. Unlike a Xylophone, it has metal bars played with four soft mallets. Its range is three octaves in the middle of the piano keyboard. It can be played rhythmically like a drum, chords can be strummed like a guitar, melodies and other improvisations can be played as well. It has a mechanically driven vibrato above its resonating tubes which gives it its name VIBRAphone. Hawk’s lyrical phrasing and mature technique really make this instrument sing.

I grew up in Texas and went to school in North Carolina. After studying jazz with Mary Lou Williams and others I became musical director for a steel drum band which toured North and South America for several years. Later, while raising my family on an island in Washington state, I created my own 12 piece African/Caribbean dance band. After traveling to New Orleans, I discovered the original spirit of jazz still alive (albeit in a multitude of genres), and was inspired to return to a slightly more traditional “jazz” setting.

I hope you take the time to listen to “Vibra Cum Laude” in its entirety. I am certain that you will enjoy it.

People who are interested in Cal Tjader Roy Ayers Milt Jackson should consider this download.
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