Reviews and Endorsements

Jazz Standards for Vibraphone
Arr. Tim McMahon
Hal Leonard

“Think of this book as your vibraphone jazz-standards starter set. Comprising 17 popular jazz and show tunes, this book offers performance notes and suggestions that not only serve as a springboard for experienced, but is accessible by vibraphonists new to the genre.

“This in not a walk-through method book like that of John Metzger, nor is it a lead sheet that has been turned into a black page full of extended chord tones and hot riffs. Each tune is clear in presentation (larger staff and noteheads, fits on two pages without page turns), and well thought out in terms of notes chosen to communicate harmony.

“In Tim McMahon’s simple arrangements, like ‘Bluesette’ and ‘Autumn Leaves,’ non-chord tones and extended melodic runs are kept to a minimum. These simple treatments of jazz standards can effectively introduce beginning ‘jazzers’ to the genre while not scaring them away with the depth and breadth of the language and performance possibilities. Likewise, McMahon’s more advanced treatments, as found in ‘Misty’ and ‘Haunted Heart,’ will also appeal to seasoned players through melodic decorations such as extended runs and quickly shifting chords. Tunes from this collection can serve as an augmentation to a lead sheet, music for a solo recital, or even a catalyst for starting up a jazz combo.”

-Joshua D. Smith
Percussive Notes, March 2013

Tim McMahon on Vibes
Vibraphone Summit at Dizzy’s

Vibraphone Summit at Dizzy's
Photo by Barbara Wise

“McMahon began his set with a dreamy rumination on Body & Soul, eking gorgeous resonant clouds of harmony before shelving two mallets to swing through Make Someone Happy…”

“…[He] impressed me the most when striking out against the grain–creating a tension that made his swing more effective and dramatic.”

-Robert Bush,
SD Reader Blog, January 2013 (full review)

Tim McMahon Ensemble
Illuminations
Heavywood 7885

“….McMahon’s band is a swinging, straightforward unit…harmonically blending brass and reeds
in pastel hues. The arrangements allow the harmonic sections to be bathed in melodic finery, thus springing the soloists into soothing open spaces…”

“….McMahon has a very musical mind. He produces delightful melodies capable of calming any angry sea…”

-Frank Rubolino
Cadence, September 2003

Tim McMahon Ensemble
Illuminations
Heavywood 7885

“….the songs on this album feature a mellifluous fusion of expressive horn lines embroidered with memorable solos contributed by Mike Wofford (piano)and members of the horn section,particularly Paul Sundfor on saxes and flutes.Throughout, McMahon uses his kit imaginatively, navigating the ensemble throughan emotionally variegated landscape. The result is an album worthy of attention.”

-John R. Raush
Percussive Notes, October 2003

“I first met Tim in 1982 while teaching a jazz improv class at San Diego State University. I remember him being an eager and enthusiastic student with the right amount of seriousness mixed with a joyful attitude. I have watched him grow from a young fledgling to a mature creative musician, drummer, and percussionist worthy of note. This latest effort on his part (Illuminations) shows clearly his talent as a composer and musician. Please take my advice and give a good listen.”

-Charles McPherson
Alto Saxophonist
December 2002

“Tim McMahon is both a remarkable drummer/percussionist and a gifted composer/arranger. His new CD ‘Illuminations,’ with his own ensemble, reflects all these creative talents.”

-Mike Wofford
Jazz Pianist

Trio Alchemy
Reflection
Webster’s Last Word 4433

“….They’re squarely in the mainstream playing with a crisp, robust swing and combining it with a striking harmonic sense that recalls Andrew Hill.”

“….Labyrinth is a fine Latin tune in which a dark harmonic shadow rides sidecar to the melody (and it also features a very fine piano improv with hot accompaniment from drummer McMahon).”

-Jason Bivens
Cadence, September, 2002