[from a Brick’s Picks in the LA Weekly]
First a sadder than sad note: Big, strapping, funny, jazz loving, vibraphone obsessed Mal Sands died on December 10th. Pneumonia. The Vibe Summit he threw every year was a highlight for me. Hours and hours of vibraphone, more mallets than you could shake a shtick at. And Mal had some shtick, man…he was incredibly funny. It sometimes had the feeling of some Ed Sullivan show, with all these musicians playing their hearts out for a tune, maybe two, and then Mal whipping out the one liners and monologues and stories (always some about Cal Tjader) and sometimes his interludes outshone the playing. I’d see him everywhere, anywhere…if there was music, especially Latin music, he’d likely be there. The last time we spoke was after a Hollywood & Highlands show…there’d been a strange, ludicrous altercation between a musician and some audience members that briefly spilled into a brawl, fists flying…he left an urgent message about it and man both of us thought it was the funniest thing we ever saw…maybe you had to be there. In any case, I’ll miss him. The scene’ll miss him. Vibraphonists gotta be crying now. He was their patron saint. Rest in Peace you big crazy guy.