Album Review – Afters Hours by Vibes Alive

The smooth jazz ensemble of Vibes Alive have created a world of tranquility on their latest release After Hours. Comprised of vibraphonist Dirk Richter and guitarist Randall Crissman, Vibes Alive’s music is a blanket of calmness that relaxes every body part and applies comfort to any prickly emotions. Special guests such as pianist/keyboardist Jeff Lorber, percussionist فيب Luis Conte, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Jimmy Johnson, saxophonist/flutist Gary Meek, and trumpeter Bob Summers perform on the recording and add to the overall placid aura of the songs. Produced by Randall Crissman, After Hours takes listeners into a content state of being that when reality cannot give this to them, Vibes Alive’s music will.

The cool, smooth twinkling notes of the vibraphone and keyboards trundling along “Lighthouse” and “Hard To Say Goodbye” are gracefully splayed while belted in lounging rhythmic pulses. The sinuous movements of Meek’s saxophone on the title track are groomed with slender strips of vibraphone keys, and the relaxing elixir of softly lit melodic layers along “Open Door” crease indentations that form gentle chord changes as the flowy flutter of Richter’s vibes halo the piece. Vibes Alive’s music creates cottages of cozy atmospherics and slowly rolling slopes that feel so inviting.

Vibes Alive peak on their upbeat tempos like the sprinkles of funky vibes and sweltering guitar riffs through “Lunch Truck” and the jangly samba beats and perky movements of “Sambahia.” The agility of the instruments produce a bazaar of engaging phrasess that mull around capriciously sashaying gleefully and covering the tune in sprightly bangles, bubbly flutes, and glittering tones that foam elegantly to a smooth froth. The instruments also activate a tight rapport through “Bright Lights” with uplifting saxophone notes beaded by springy vibes and shooting guitar riffs. The applique of upbeat grooves sauntering along “Walk Away” project a scintillating array of jazz-toned vibes that intermingle excitedly with the high strung keyboards, and the spunky horns and prancing keyboards of “Blew Blues” are jeweled in nimbly floating vibes and spikes in the guitar chords which produce a vintage jive mood.

Though Vibes Alive shine bright on their upbeat numbers, they also work wonders on their ambrosia-based tonics like “In The Garden” and “Magnolia.” The rhythmic knolls of these tunes are harnessed in dainty lifts, softly stroking keyboards, and sophisticated sprees that calm and enlighten the listeners finer senses. Vibes Alive understand the beauty of jazz and they made an album that is very persuasive in showing audiences the vast array of glittering tones which come in jazz. After Hours takes audiences into a land of contentment that is needed after a long, hard day at work. It’s a total stress reliever.

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