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With Drawn
Knitting Factory

Like many inventive jazz groups, the drummer E. J. Rodriguez, the bassist Brad Jones, and the vibraphonist Bill Ware—the rhythmic nucleus of the renowned Jazz Passengers—formed Vibes from late-night jam sessions. With Drawn is the project’s first studio album since the trio’s 1997 self-titled live debut. During those two years, evolution has led Vibes into territory midway between sappy cocktail jazz and the spooky sounds of Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks soundtrack.

The ghostly “Down Under” track features Ware’s shimmering rolls that float dreamily over Rodriguez’s and Jones’s understated performances. “Cha Ha” and “Main Space” have a distinct Latin flavor but maintain a very laid-back, cool-jazz feel. With Drawn is nearly flawless; only an unnecessary cover of “House of the Rising Sun” blemishes an otherwise enjoyable CD.

Originally published in the Orlando Weekly on December 16, 1999.