I love vibraphone! It's an instrument that often doesn't get the respect it deserves. ( I had a friend who called it "the rolling doorbell" ! ) Even though I don't play it myself, it does seem to be that middle ground between two instruments I do play, piano and drums, and many drummers do double on vibes.
I recently got to record with great ( and now local ) vibist Dan McCarthy, and through serendipity, found this great interview with vibraphone pioneer Gary Burton in which he looks back on his career.
Check it out!
An important takeaway for me is that he talks about not being obsessed with playing his own music in his band, but rather finding the best tunes, no matter who wrote them. Even though this makes recordings less lucrative ( your own tunes mean you get the mechanical royalties' proceeds.) and more expensive ( you have to pay to put standards etc. on a recording ), this is something I plan to consider. I already have gotten a lot looser on how many originals I feel I have to play on gigs, and I think my earlier insistence on my own tunes was ego, more than anything. Oh well, another way I'm a work in progress. :)