Similar to Roy Ayers, jazz percussionist Dave Pike comes from the tree of Herbie Mann. And please notice we don’t use the term percussionist lightly. Although you would most likely hear Dave Pike on the vibraphone (it was his now famous riff heard in Sublime’s Summertime), it is not uncommon to hear him on the xylophone or marimba. In his 1966 album entitled Jazz for the Jet Set, Pike sticks (no pun) exclusively with the marimba, playing soulful melodies and solos throughout the album. If you’re thinking to yourself what’s the difference in sound between the two instruments?, know that the vibraphone is a metal instrument, and the marimba is made of wood (mostly rosewood). The wood keys are what gives it the rich, warm, yet dull sound. As you could guess, some percussionists had there preferences, such as Roy Ayers with the vibraphone, while others liked to incorporate other mallet instruments into their work.
Jazz for the Jet Set is a great audio window into the 1960’s sound of mallet jazz, and also a great effort in incorporating a soulful sound in a genre that was traditional. Pike spent many years playing with the late great Herbie Mann, as did Roy Ayers in the 60’s. It’s unknown how they shared duties, but they both went on to have great careers post-Mann (Roy Ayers having a great career is an understatement). This album features some jazz heavyweights, including Bruno Carr and Grady Tate on drums, Billy Butler on guitar, Clark Terry, Martin Sheller, and Melvin Lastie on trumpet, Bob Cranshaw and Jimmy Lewis on bass, a young 22 year old phenom in Herbie Hancock on organ, and last and certainly not least is Dave Pike on marimba.
Enjoy the 60s sounds of Dave Pike, and feel the vibe…I mean, marimba.
Written by: @Haylow