JJ 06/64: Gary Burton, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry – Three In Jazz

Sixty years ago, reviewing a ragbag of an album, Mike Shera thought newcomer Burton outshone an off-form Rollins and coasting Terry

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There seems little point in these three musicians sharing an LP, for though they may all be included under the term modern jazz (whatever that may be taken to mean) their differences are far greater than their similarities. Presumably Victor didn’t have sufficient material by them to make up three complete LPs.

Rather surprisingly, the tracks by new­comer Gary Burton achieve a higher standard than either of the more famous musicians. Burton is the talented vibraharpist, until recently a member of the George Shearing Quintet, of whom Stan Getz spoke so highly. He has great facility and good ideas, but is not yet particularly original. That no doubt will come too in time, for he is not yet 20 years old. His tracks are slightly marred for this listener by the hesitant, asthmatic-sounding trumpet playing of Jack Sheldon, who is fortunately mainly confined to theme statements.

For Rollins, this was clearly an off day. His playing is incoherent and fragmentary, and swings very little. Cherry is slightly better, and as one might expect, his choice of notes seem to bear little relationship to the chord sequences. The work of Grimes and Higgins, in the rhythm section, is superb.

Terry’s four tracks are good, but it appears that he needs another horn to offer a challenge, before he can be persuaded to play his best (as on the recent LP with Coleman Hawkins). Hank Jones is sparkling on Lindo, quite the best track by this group.

Discography
(a) Hello, Young Lovers; (a) Gentle Wind And Falling Tear; (b) You Are My Lucky Star; (b) I Could Write A Book; (c) Sounds Of The Night; (c) Cielito Lindo (18½ min) – (a) Blue Comedy; (b) There Will Never Be Another You; (d) Blues Tonight; (c) When My Dreamboat Comes Home (17 min)
(a)  Jack Sheldon (tpt); Gary Burton (vbs); Monty Budwig (bs); Vernell Fournier (d).
(b)  Don Cherry (cnt); Sonny Rollins (ten); Henry Grimes (bs); Billy Higgins (d).
(c)  Clark Terry (tpt, fgl-h); Hank Jones (p); Kenny Burrell (g); Milt Hinton (bs); Osie Johnson (d); Willie Rodriguez (cga, bgo).
(d) as for (c) except Rodriguez omitted.
(RCA Victor SF 7626 12inLP 32s. 2d.)