There is something about the vibes that just makes me smile. The ringing sound, maybe. The pure physicality. The way vibes players all seem to dance around their instrument, as if it too was a character in the band.
Joe Locke had all this. I smiled a lot. Sitting right at the front, he dominated the band – I could barely see pianist Robert Rodriguez, and bass player Ricky Rodriguez (apparently no relation) was hidden behind Locke for most of the evening. Locke danced around, moving up and down the vibes. He raised his mallets high and produced some fast trills up and down the vibe’s bars. At other times he was more subtle, leaving each note to ring out.