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I hadn't posted anything in a long while and so I went digging. Here's a recording I did in 2006 of "It Might As Well Be Spring". Tony and Ed also did a version of this and it hasn't been posted here yet so I thought with the season changing, this would be a good one to post. You have to be patient because it's another one with a long intro. My objective to these long intros is to have fun with it and create an ambience that would make the vibe sound bigger when it actually comes in with the arrangement. So, I tried to create the "feeling" of a Spring morning with an intro that is very sparse so that the vibe wouldn't sound so alone in a solo setting. It has a couple of time modulations that I liked and a bass line happening for a short time. It's recorded a little hot too with some distorting but I hope you enjoy it.


Randy_Sutin Sat, 03/07/2009 - 08:10

Very cool. I love that intro!

Wonderful point about creating smaller sounds to make the body of the piece sound larger...

thank you for posting this.

Piper Sat, 03/07/2009 - 17:21

In reply to by Randy_Sutin

Wow, I just checked out a few of your tracks on your very nice web site and plan to purchase many. You seem to be a very humble giant on the vibes. I'm very flattered that you would like my solo stuff. I LOVE what I heard you do. Your solos are tremendous.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to my post and for participating on

Randy_Sutin Mon, 03/09/2009 - 06:31

In reply to by Piper

thank you so much for the kind words. Glad you dug our stuff.

No need to thank me for being here on this site, however. It is so cool. Tony gets all the credit for that one. Pretty amazing.


Marie-Noëlle Sat, 03/07/2009 - 08:24


I was with Florian when I first played that piece... We were both crackin' up (much respectfully of course!)

That tune is so fresh and funny! And well named!

It strangely reminded me at times a certain Pop Song... that's the Piper's touch (and licks)! :o)

We loved it!!

Thanks for posting!

MN + F

PS.: so there are other versions of that tune!... Lookin' forward! :o)

Philippe Sat, 03/07/2009 - 09:38

So poetic, and really spring-like. Listening to this, as to your version of Dolphin Dance, ones gets carried away, and one forgets to think about the technical difficulty. Please John, don't let those fires get too close to your hands ! Wear thick gloves !

Piper Sat, 03/07/2009 - 17:12

In reply to by Philippe

Thanks Philippe! I was wondering if anyone else is affected by that order of notes. To me, the beginning brings back spring mornings and the sounds that I relate to as "spring". Plenty of space for thinking. I love the mornings and spring.

vibraman Sat, 03/07/2009 - 10:43

wow... like all vibe solo pieces i heard from you its really cool.and what like most is that you always come up with something deepest respect for your playing and thanks for posting.

vibraman Sat, 03/07/2009 - 17:23

In reply to by Piper

thank you very much mr.piper that you took time to´s really an honor for me. i mean you come up with something new on each solo piece...first i heard your dolphin dance version and couldn´t believe what i heard...then on pop song for florian i thought first it was 2 vibes overdubbed. as tifoo said i would really like to see a video of your playing this would help a lot to get an idea how you do this great there a chance? or do you keep it seceret :)?

to me all that solo vibe stuff from the masters like you, tony, joe or all others here who post is so enormous helpfull in learning and inspiring!

i like specially all solo vibe stuff cause you can´t hide behind anyone else which makes it so hard for me to do...but if you do it it sounds so easy and light

Piper Sat, 03/07/2009 - 17:51

In reply to by vibraman

My problem with video isn't that I have any secrets. There's no secret at all. I just try to create a sound from what I hear in your head. The biggest thing I'm constantly working on is stopping notes that I don't want to hear.

On the vibes, I really think of myself as a pop singer (ha!). Funny but that's true. My "sound" is really the only thing I have going. I'm not very smart when it comes to choosing special notes or creating great lines. I listen to people like Bill Evans and Gary and Chick and I always feel like Salieri - (the way he was depicted in that Mozart movie)! As a matter of fact, this has a lot to do with why I moved on to another career. I really just can't find the notes.

Anyway, back to answering your question... when you hear singers like Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, the Beatles and other pop greats, you hear their "sound". I think I've learned that it is the "sound" that I'm really attracted to in music and go for in my vibe playing. I'm still searching but I really think that's what makes me tick. Video never does a very good job of duplicating sound and I just hate that. So, until I have the time, energy and money to have the right set up for video... it's just not going to happen (sorry). I'm just to damn egotistical!

thanks vibraman.

Marie-Noëlle Sat, 03/07/2009 - 18:04

In reply to by Piper

Oh I see John,

I heard you perfectly: your one and only problem is getting a good tool to record you.

Ok, I think I have the solution for you. I'm going to introduce you to a nice guy. He doesn't live so far from your home, and he owns a good video camera. I figure he will also be able to record you and understand you very well, as he appears to play vibes himself.

But maybe you already know him? His name is Dana Sud... hmm... Sud-something. Shall I send you his email address? (in private of course).


Marie-Noëlle Sat, 03/07/2009 - 18:39

In reply to by Piper

No John,

You stepped in nothing! And I was of course teasing you.

I just realised that we will all stay in the expectation of something that will probably not happen. And I find one more good reason to think I was right on one of my first impressions a few months ago: the Enigmatic Professor Piper! :o)

Don't worry: we'd all really like to see you play those incredible tunes, but we love you the way you are!


vibraman Sat, 03/07/2009 - 19:23

In reply to by Piper

i can understand that you don´t want to make a´s a pity in a way but the thing is about music and thats 90% by hearing and not on video. i´m 38 years now and when i was younger there was no youtube or video i learned playing drums by records.
i started vibes 10 years ago and there is dvd, youtube, tonys site and videos and much more.
of course its great to have all that but sometimes i think back to the old days no video was available and i listen to the same passage of a record 100 times to figure out things.
i would have given everything to see a kiss (please don´t laugh they were my heroes when is was 8 years old) or frank zappa video. today you just type in a name at youtube and you get 10 sites of videos. this is nice but it has nothing special anymore. no mystic hysteria when will be the next record release, and where can i get it? you get tons of stuff and information just by one click.sometimes i wonder ...isn´t it too much information? do i really give everything that much attention to the tons of stuff i can get now so easily like i paid attention to that old records and how does it affect my learning process and my musical development?
in "the old days" i bought lets say 2 records a month depending on how much money i got left i heard that records over and over again even if i didn´t like it in the beginning,simply because i got nothing new.very often it turned out i liked the record because i listened so much to it and got a way to the music and understood it you hear something 5 minutes and then you click next song or enter next name at youtube...

like everything in life both has advantages and disadvantages i think.

at least its more then ok just to listen to the things you played...but maybe never say never...even to a video...

Piper Sat, 03/07/2009 - 20:08

In reply to by vibraman

Oh I want to make a video but not the kind of video that is available to me at this time. I REALLY want to show what I'm doing but not in a way that is available to me at this time. And, I don't want to spend the time doing it. That's what it really comes down to. I'm very patient when it comes to things like this so I'll wait until I can do it the way I want to do it.. or it won't happen. I'm fine with that.

I get what you said about listening for five minutes and then "click" on to the next song. That's so true.

DanaSud Sat, 03/07/2009 - 11:51

Another wicked solo vibe performance by Pr Piper. I really enjoyed that. The bird calls, the re-harmonizations, feel changes and energy were expertly conceived. Thanks for sharing this.

Joe Locke Sat, 03/07/2009 - 11:58

Beautiful! ... the intro AND the body of the tune.

Piper Sat, 03/07/2009 - 17:28

In reply to by Joe Locke

Every time you say something nice it of course resonates like a fine tuned bar over a perfectly matched chamber - (I'm trying to say something clever here) Thank you Joe.

tifoo Sat, 03/07/2009 - 15:10

Man, thinking of Gary Burton as the reference for solo playing, you stand quite close to him...Do you have any videos of you playing solo pieces ? That would be a kick to see you play (apart from the video where you switch from vibes to drums that we already enjoyed)

ed saindon Sun, 03/08/2009 - 12:50


Thanks for posting this. I forgot how interesting and creative this was. I remember thinking how I thought this was a tough tune to play solo when you, Tony and me were discussing which tunes to record. But, you did it so beautifully.

I know we all keep searching for the notes and that should never end. But, your notes and sound is always a pleasure to hear. I hear so much humanity in your playing. That's why your new gig is not really a surprise to me at all. It fits. I know if I was in deep trouble and needed assistance, you know who I would want to be there.

Ed Saindon
Check out my cds:

tedwolff Tue, 03/24/2009 - 17:18

Hey John, Ted Wolff here. I've just signed up for this beautiful site. You are one of the few of us not afraid to use space. Your ability to set up moods and environments with with vibes is a brand new idea for me. Fabulous. I loved the walking bass sections. It really shows the instrument can express different feels and tempos with conviction and authority. I'm going to check out more of your stuff here.

Piper Wed, 03/25/2009 - 19:25

In reply to by tedwolff

It's great to see you on the site! If you're interested in checking more of my stuff out here, please check out Dolphin Dance. I was experimenting with getting a motor and/or echo sound without a motor (using mallet damping). I think you might enjoy it.

Man Ted, I remember coming to your berklee office and jamming weekly with you back in 1977. Those were the days.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the song and for your encouragement.

Great to hear from you.

tedwolff Thu, 03/26/2009 - 14:51

In reply to by Piper

John, very nice acoustic effects there. I've heard Dave Samuels do something similar with the marimba where he strikes a note or chord, then restrikes is very softly several times to get a kind of echo sound. Are you also hand turning the paddles in the tubes to get controlled tremolo?

You are really thinking outside the box.

Hey, if you're interested,I have a new CD that has just arrived. It's a piano/vibes duo. We've got a website at

I'm gonna check out more of your stuff John!

Marie-Noëlle Wed, 05/13/2009 - 05:11

I know, I know most of you already heard this incredible tune from our dear Professor Piper... Still not all of you...

This morning, my son asked me to play it... and we had a lot of fun for breakfast!



Piper Sat, 12/21/2013 - 09:20

I haven't listened to these in a long time. This was probably the last piece I took on before I jumped off the music wagon. I remember how frustrated and bored I had become. Needed something new so I started firefighting academy. I recorded this in my small office at the music school I taught at. I wish I wouldn't have spent so much time on that chirping intro on my version but it's pretty good otherwise. I'm going to have to re-learn the arrangement.

ed saindon Sun, 12/22/2013 - 12:01

In reply to by Piper

Thanks John for digging up those old clips. Yours and Tony's versions are fantastic. That wasn't an easy tune to do solo. I do like the chirping effect on the vibes. Again, glad to see you back here and at the vibes again. Merry Christmas! Ed