Advertisement
Advertisement

JJ 06/90: Gary Burton – Reunion

A review by Mark Gilbert, first published in Jazz Journal June 1990

Jazzmen are so unpredictable. Writing on the sleeve of his 1988 Times Like These album. Burton said ‘I still don’t feel that I’m going to work with guitarists any­time soon’. Yet within 12 months or so, he has taken up with his old sideman Pat Metheny after a break of 12 years.

Buoyant and Latinate, this set contrasts significantly with ear­lier Burton/Metheny liaisons. Bur­ton, reticent as ever about his writing abilities, has employed five composers across 11 tracks (including the excellent Vince Mendoza), but there is no lack of cohesion. Everything is beauti­fully executed, and Burton and Metheny take a host of solos.

Advertisement

The latter’s recent group albums have demonstrated a wholesale return to extended soloing, and it can only be a matter of time before Metheny follows fellow fusioneers Benson, Ritenour and Carlton and cuts a collection of smoking standards. He might even go so far as to retire the charmless guitar synth heard on Panama. Standards would also be eminently preferable to the three pallid Metheny charts here.

The rhythm section cruise like a finely tuned engine. It’s espe­cially interesting to hear Will Lee in such an elegant setting, and likewise Mitch Forman, who has rarely been heard to play with such grace. His string synth appears to supply the superb piz­zicato effect at the close of Autumn‘s theme.

Minor reservations aside, this is a Burton that’s well worth going for.
Mark Gilbert

Discography
Autumn; Reunion; Origin; Will You Say You Will; House On The Hill; Panama; Chairs And Chil­dren; Wasn’t Always Easy; The Chief; Tempos Felice (Happy Times); Quick And Running (58.35)
Burton (vib/mar); Pat Metheny (g/elg/g syn); Mitchell Forman (p/kyb); Will Lee (elb); Peter Erskine (d/pc). NYC, May 6-10, 1989.
(GRP-9598-2)

Latest audio reviews

Advertisement

More from this author

Advertisement

Jazz Journal articles by month

Advertisement

Dexter Gordon: Go! + A Swingin’ Affair

This Jazz Images reissue comprises four important recordings made during Dexter’s mid-career. It's attractively packaged, with an introductory essay by Arnold Marcus, original (and...
Advertisement

Obituary: Bob Efford

Before leaving the UK for the USA in 1976, Bob Efford had become one of the most sought after session players in town. He...
Advertisement

Willie Dennis: crossing the grain /1

It’s a long time ago but I still remember buying Gerry Mulligan’s 1961 Presents A Concert In Jazz - and playing it almost ceaselessly...
Advertisement

Jazz Transatlantic Vol II: Jazz Derivatives And Developments In Twentieth-Century Africa

Gerhard Kubik's magisterial, groundbreaking study comprises two simultaneously published volumes, the product of nearly 60 years' fieldwork by this doyen of ethnomusicology. Volume I,...
Advertisement

Willie Dixon: I Am The Blues

This is a live studio performance by a group of mainly veteran Chicago bluesmen led by Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston and fronted by Willie...
Advertisement

JJ 06/69: Don Ellis: Autumn

Continued listening to the Ellis band confirms that it is firstly an exciting band with great capabilities, and secondly that the excitement, which has...