Boomer Vibes, Volume 2 – Tom Collier

Boomer Vibes, Volume 2 – Tom Collier

Label: Summit Records

Release date: Feb 2024

Catalog number: 820


comp: Jimmy Webb
comp: Felix Cavaliere; Eddie Brigati
comp: John Lennon
comp: June Carter; Merle Kilgore
comp: Jimmy Webb
comp: Hank Williams
comp: Gerry Goffin; Carole King
comp: Ray Davies
comp: Mick Jagger; Keith Richards
comp: Ted Daffan
comp: Paul McCartney; John Lennon
comp: Bob Dylan
Collier, one of the best jazz percussionists on the planet, presents an accessible, surreal program of familiar tunes from the defined ‘baby boomer’ generation.  Nearly 70 years of experience and musical influence are brought to fruition on this incredible series of Baby Boomer “VIBES”… This is VOLUME 2.
Volume 2 is rich with familiar favorites…from Dylan to Jagger/Richards…from McCartney/Lennon to Hank Williams, Jimmy Webb, Ray Davies, the compositions are impressions that will never be forgotten and Collier delivers his vibe-fantastic version of all!!!!…..This is incredible material extremely well done by one of the best around!

On the first tune, a Jimmy Webb standard called “Galveston” Tom Collier plays all the instruments except the electric guitar.  Eddie ‘Pick’ McCord plays the guitar while Collier over-dubs a list of other instruments including vibraphone, marimba, piano, accordion, synthesized bass and drums.  I enjoyed his take on Webb’s other popular tune he covers, “Wichita Lineman” where Collier employs beautiful chord harmonics during his acoustic vibraphone presentation. The arrangement on “Your Cheatin’ Heart” is a ‘swing’ and adds the live, acoustic bass of Ed Kraft to the mix. This is more pop music than jazz.

This album is a nod to the many talents of Tom Collier, who plays a multitude of instruments.  He’s like a one-man band, who invites a few guests to join his production from time to time. However, when you are not interacting with ‘live’ musicians, sometimes the project sounds sanitized.  Every tune doesn’t have to be perfect.  The human ability to improvise and play as a unit with other musicians brings color, excitement and life to the music.

When Tom Collier plays “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” as a solo vibraphone piece without drums or bass, it takes the funk out of the ‘hit’ rhythm and blues song. That’s what I mean by sanitizing the music.  He removes the grit and growl from the tune.  However, on the song “Born to Lose,” also played as a solo vibraphone piece, I am quite intrigued.  The concept of reinventing “Boomer Vibes” (songs from the 1960s & 1970s) using his impressive talents on vibraphone with the additional instruments he plays, is an interesting concept. It shows Tom Collier’s reverence to great composers and artists like Mick Jagger, McCartney and Lennon, Hank Williams, Ray Charles and Jimmy Webb. Here is Collier’s second ‘do it yourself’ album, with one more to come. He plans on making this concept a trilogy.

-Dee Dee McNeil for Making A Scene Magazine

——–from the NOTES of Tom Collier:

GALVESTON (Jimmy Webb)

  Tom Collier: VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, piano, accordion, synth bass, drums; Eddie “Pick” McCord: electric guitar

I always felt Glen Campbell’s 1969 hit recording was a bit too “upbeat” for the message contained in Jimmy Webb’s lyrics about a soldier in battle reminiscing about his hometown. After hearing Webb’s 2010 recording with Lucinda Williams, I was moved to create my own version of Galveston. I often play this song as a vibraphone solo in live performances.


HOW CAN I BE SURE (Felix Cavaliere – Eddie Brigati)

  Tom Collier: VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, piano, drums; Ed Kraft: acoustic bass

The (Young) Rascals were one of the few successful American bands to emerge during the onslaught of British bands between 1964-1966. Their success continued into the 1970s with great songs mostly composed by organist and lead vocalist Felix Cavaliere including my favorite Rascal’s song, How Can I Be Sure.



  Tom Collier: VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, piano, synthesizer, synth bass, drums

Although this outstanding Beatles song is credited to Lennon and McCartney, Across The Universe was thoroughly composed by John Lennon. On February 4, 2008, NASA transmitted Across The Universe into deep space commemorating their 50th anniversary, and that event provided the inspiration for my version of Lennon’s beautiful song. I added a bit of electronic processing to the sound of the marimba to underscore the idea of Lennon’s song travelling through the universe.

RING OF FIRE (June Carter – Merle Kilgore)

  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone, VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, clavinet,  accordion, hammer dulcimer, harmonica, synth bass, cajón, metal tongue drum,

I’ve been playing this Johnny Cash song for several years and my arrangement of Ring of Fire has evolved quite a bit resulting in this recording. The marimba and cajón driven jam at the end of the track features my debut performance on hammer dulcimer.


  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone

Like Galveston, I felt Glen Campbell’s hit recording of Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Lineman was too “cheery” sounding considering the lyrics as being quite melancholy. I’ve tried to capture that moody feeling in my solo vibraphone version with a nod towards Webb’s own 1996 solo recording.



  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone, marimba, piano, drums; Ed Kraft: acoustic bass

While Hank Williams’ 1951 gem predates the era of focus for this album, Your Cheatin’ Heart was revived by Ray Charles on his 1962 soul-based recording thus “qualifying” the song for Boomer Vibes. My arrangement is firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, a sort of post-modern bop approach with a twist of 12-bar blues.

UP ON THE ROOF (Gerry Goffin – Carole King)

  Tom Collier: VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, organ, synth bass, drums, percussion

One of my most favorite songs from my junior high school days, I had to include my arrangement of this Goffin and (Carole) King classic on my Boomer Vibes project.


  Tom Collier: VanderPlas electric vibraphone, marimba, piano, organ, synth bass, drums; Eddie “Pick” McCord: electric guitar

A few years ago, I had the privilege of recording an album featuring renowned guitarist Bill Frisell. After hearing Bill’s recording of Tired of Waiting For You (by The Kinks, 1964) on his 2014 album Guitar In The Space Age, I decided to try my hand at recording it.


(I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION (Mick Jagger – Keith Richards)

  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone

A solo vibraphone recording of one of the most famous rock songs of the 20th century? I just had to give it a try…

BORN TO LOSE (Ted Daffan)

  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone

Vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton was a major influence on my development on the instrument (along with Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, and Roy Ayers). Although I didn’t hear Burton’s 1966 recording of Born to Loseuntil much later, I was quite aware of the 1962 Ray Charles recording from the same Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music album that featured Your Cheatin’ Heart.


BIRTHDAY (Paul McCartney – John Lennon)

  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone, marimba, piano, synthesizer, synth bass; drum

Sometime in the 1980s when we were discussing our favorite songs by the Beatles, my longtime friend and esteemed electric bassist, Dan Dean, suggested Birthday would sound great if it was played in a 7/8 meter instead of the usual 4/4. Four decades later, I finally took that idea and made it happen. Dan was correct; it works like a charm in 7.



  Tom Collier: acoustic vibraphone

A solo vibraphone recording of one of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs of the 20th century? I had to try, although this was not as far-fetched as it sounds. Although considered one of the most important musical poets in history, Dylan composed many songs with memorable melodies and outstanding musical structure (Blowing In The Wind, Just Like A Woman, Make You Feel My Love, etc.).