Dream Gig #2 – Terry Gibbs

Lori-TerryGibbs2-300It happened in 1998 just after we started The Nashville Jazz Institute (now the Nashville Jazz Workshop). The National Association of Music Merchants convention (NAMM) was in Nashville that year, and the great vibraphonist Terry Gibbs came for it. While he was here, Café Milano booked him for a couple of performances. As it happened, he needed a trio to back him, and we got the call. So Roger, Chris Brown, and I got the honor of playing with Terry. We were really excited because all three of us had been huge fans of Terry and the Dream Band.

Lori-TerryGibbs1-400The day before the gig, Terry came to the school, and we ran through about twelve songs. And – boy! – he was accustomed to playing fast tempos! Yikes! That’s the thing that worried me most about the gig – the fast tempos and being able to keep up with Terry. He had the spirit and spunk of a 20-year-old!

One memorable moment occurred the night of the performance in the green room, while we were getting ready to go on. Terry told about introducing John and Alice Coltrane to each other! Then he told several stories about Charlie Parker – Holy Cow! – and about how his band was the “House band “ for Birdland. With each story, I grew more and more nervous. Finally, I came to the conclusion that the night would either go well, or I would completely bomb and hit the wall. There would be NO middle ground! But . . .we made it and had a great time.

After the gig, some guy came up to the stage and complimented my playing. He said, “Wow, you sound like Herbie Hancock!” (WTH!) Then he stuck out his hand to shake mine and said, “Hi, I’m Stephen Stills.” As I continued to talk with him, I noticed my brother, L.J., in the background, trying to make his way to the stage. He had the biggest smile. (Our family had a guitar strap business (LM Products) and always had a booth at NAMM, so they were at the gig that night.) After Steven said goodbye, my brother finally made it to the stage. He ran to me and asked, “Do you know who that was?” I said, “No, I’m sorry, I don’t.” He then told me it was Steven Stills from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young! OMG! My brother was coming unglued, because he was a big fan of that band. So . . . just another blond moment for Lori! And another Dream Gig.


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