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Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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136                           THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
earlier than Jackson. From 1950-54 it was Gibbs who won the annual jazz plebiscites; then Jackson moved into the top spot These fluctuations had no bearing on their relative merits; both remained, and still are, the most valuable exponents of modern jazz on the vibraphone.
Meanwhile Hampton has continued, when recording with smaller groups, to play first class jazz with a few new flourishes, clearly the result of his early acceptance of and enthusiasm for bop. Norvo, too, has remained in the forefront, leading a silken trio through the mellifluous years since 1950. Several other vibra-phonists have arrived during the past decade, many of them brought to center stage by the Shearing Quintet; they have included Margie Hyams, Don Elliott, Joe Roland and Cal Tjader, the last having since become a successful combo leader specializ­ing in both jazz and Afro-Cuban music.
Five new vibraphonists deserve special attention. Teddy Charles, heard with various name bands and bop combos from 1948, has earned stature through his work as composer, arranger and soloist in such recordings as the New Directions series and his Atlantic LP work. To a fusion of what he has drawn from an intelligent inspection of the quadrumvirate (Norvo, Hampton, Jackson, Gibbs) Charles has added a musical maturity that stems from extensive studies with Hall Overton and is reflected in writing that has experimented successfully with atonality. Larry Bunker, best known as a drummer until recently, has shown promise as a daringly inventive vibraphonist; Eddie Costa, a pianist of merit heard on many New York recordings since 1955, divides his time between piano keyboard and vibraphone mallets; Terry Pollard, nominally the pianist with Terry Gibbs* Quartet from 1954, developed so rapidly as a vibraphonist that by 1957 she was engaged in duets with Gibbs from which she seldom emerged outswung. Victor Feldman, a former child prodigy drummer from England, arrived in the United States late in 1955 and, touring with Woody Herman, startled musicians with his fleet, Jackson-like vibes improvisations.
The possibility that the vibraphone might be opened up as a second channel for every pianist arose in 1956 when several West Coast pianists experimented with an attachment that enabled