Urban Vibes is Bill Ware’s experimental improvisational jam band which first took up residency in the late ’90s at The Ace of Clubs (formerly Acme Underground) in the East Village, New York City. Bill produced, arranged and performed on keyboards and vibraphone – with a great list of talented musicians joining in. Read more HERE.
In 1997, the Jazz Passengers’ rhythm section (Bill, Brad Jones, and E.J. Rodriguez) needed a forum to cut loose from the tightly composed arrangements of the Passengers. They found their outlet every Wednesday night at the Knitting Factory Tap Room’s “Late Night Hang,” with dark, pulsating jazz- funk sounds under the banner “JP trio” (which later changed to “Vibes”). Vibes debuted on record in 1998 on a Knitting Factory album of the same name, and then followed with three more recordings, “With Drawn” (Knitting Factory Records – 1999), “Liebe Tunina” (Knitting Factory Records – 2000), and “Four” (Knitting Factory Records – 2001). Bill continues to lead the group in trio and quartet format today with an impressive roster of NYC downtown players, regularly appearing at Puppet’s Jazz Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
In 1986, with the assistance and tutelage of Cuban master drummer Roberto Borrell, Ware put together the Latin Jazz band, AM Sleep. With associates from the Workshop and William Patterson College, “AM Sleep” released their first album “Las Sombras” (Creageous Records) and toured the northeastern US. Personnel were Bill Ware – vibes, Matt King – piano, Russ Bryan – bass, Vince Cherico – drums, Bill Davis – alto sax, Roberto Borrell – percussion.
Club Bird All Stars
In 1990, Bill was invited by Club Bird in Yokohama, Japan, to join a group of New York musicians for a three-month engagement. On returning to the US, Bill added members from AM Sleep to the group, calling it “Bill Ware and the Club Bird All Stars”. They received rave reviews for producing, writing, and recording “Long and Skinny” (Knitting Factory Works – 1993). Personnel were Bill Ware – vibes, Jay Rodriguez – saxes, Josh Roseman – trombone, Matt King – piano, Pete MacDonald – drums, Brad Jones – bass.
In 1993, Bill and saxophonist Jay Rodriguez signed onto the Eight Ball Records label with their solo acid jazz project, Groove Thing. They released two cds, the first in 1994 (The Adventure), and the second in 1997 (This Is No Time…), which featured Blondie star Deborah Harry. Groove Thing gigged in NYC regularly in the 90’s at various clubs such as SOBs.