Like many inventive jazz groups, drummer EJ Rodriguez, bassist Brad Jones and vibraphonist Bill Ware -- the rhythmic nucleus of the renowned Jazz Passengers -- formed Vibes from late-night jam sessions. "With Drawn" is the project's first studio album since the trio's 1997 self-titled live debut. During those two years, evolution has led Vibes into territory midway between sappy cocktail jazz and the spooky sounds of Angelo Badalamenti's "Twin Peaks" soundtrack.
The ghostly "Down Under" track features Ware's shimmering rolls that float dreamily over Rodriguez's and Jones' understated performances. "Cha Ha" and "Main Space" have a distinct Latin flavor, but maintain a very laid-back, cool-jazz feel. With Drawn is nearly flawless; only an unnecessary cover of "House of the Rising Sun" blemishes an otherwise enjoyable CD.
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