malletjazz.com FAQ pages

“Who are the best (jazz) vibraphonists to listen to? What recordings do you recommend?”

Oh, so many...in terms of jazz players, lets start with:

Lionel Hampton
Red Norvo
Milt Jackson
Terry Gibbs
Bobby Hutcherson
Mike Mainieri
Walt Dickerson
Gary Burton
Dave Samuels
David Friedman
Bill Molenhof
Victor Mendoza
Ed Saindon
John Mark Piper
Brad Stirtz
Joe Locke
Anthony Kerr

That’s just scratching the surface - I’m sure I’ve left some fine players out, quite unintentionally I assure you. The ones I’ve listed will present a wide variety of eras and styles and every jazz vibraphonist would benefit from checking out anyone on this list.

Also, it’s well worth checking out some of the “classical” composers who have made great use of mallet instruments, like Steve Reich, Joseph Schwantner, Karel Husa, and others. I’d also recommend that jazz mallet players learn some classical marimba literature - many of the techniques and textures used in classical mallet literature can be adapted to one’s jazz playing.

- JW