Another winsome offering from the genteel ECM stable, this time one bent strongly on the yoke of Gary Burton, especially since the nearest it comes to catching fire is in the intertwining work of Friedman and Swartz.
Generally, however, it is somewhat inert fare – the fact that the opener takes fourteen minutes to reach a climax being indicative. No single piece has sufficiently strong identity to provide variety or contrast to the forty-odd minutes of metaphysics; they all merge into an amorphous whole.
By far the best moments come from Swartz. Otherwise, the vibes and marimba tinkle away prettily, but inconclusively over drums that rustle rather than drive. It is perfectly manicured – so much so that one yearns for a custard pie.
Passage*; The Next Event (23.14) – Sunset Glow; Crossing (19.45)
Dave Samuels (vb/mar); David Friedman (mar/vb*); Harvie Swartz (b); Michael DiPasqua (d/pc). Oslo, 10/78.