With an excellent batch of compositions by Mike Gibbs, Steve Swallow and himself, Gary Burton is in fine, outgoing form on this set. So too is guitarist Hahn, who has since left the group. With his interesting style, which owes as much to blue grass country music as it does to jazz, it is frequently his exciting work that inspires the leader, one feels, in this varied programme which includes a hark-back to Burton’s Getz days (A Singing Song) besides an entertaining, if pretty academic, duet between Burton the pianist and Burton the vibist on his arrangement of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin prelude.
The reunion with Haynes and Swallow – they were also with Getz a couple of years ago – points up the fact that Burton is more adventurous with musicians of consequence. From any standpoint this is a far superior release to Throb (reviewed in the November issue) and overall it must be reckoned to be one of the most successful dates to appear under Gary Burton’s name. Make an effort to hear it.
Country Roads; The Green Mountains; True Or False; Gone, But Forgotten; Ravel Prelude (18 min) – And On The Third Day; A Singing Song; Wichita Breakdown; My Foolish Heart; A Family Joy (17 min)
Gary Burton (pno/vib); Jerry Hahn (gtr): Steve Swallow (bs/el bs-gtr); Roy Haynes (dm). NYC, c. early 1969.
(RCA SF 8042 36s 8d)