Arthur Lipner wields his mallets as if they were extra limbs on "Modern Vibe," the jazz vibist and marimba man's fifth CD as a bandleader.

Arthur Lipner wields his mallets as if they were extra limbs on "Modern Vibe," the jazz vibist and marimba man's fifth CD as a bandleader. What makes "Modern Vibe" such a joy for malletheads is its moderation. It's polished, but it's got edge. While Lipner's own delightful Brazilian-tinged compositions (about half the tracks) operate in a swinging Bahia of the mind, the covers really show the depth of his talent as player and arranger. Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With" share similar virtues. Lipner, backed by a top-shelf New York session crew, states the melody quickly, then kicks into gutsy improvisations that are crisp and imaginative. Radio should dig what Lipner does with Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"; it's the paradigm of what a modern vibe should sound like. Synergy is handling distribution in the United States; for online orders, log on to jazzheads.com.—WR

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