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Gary Burton (Vibes): Who Is Gary Burton?

Album Notes

By 1962, Gary Burton was known as a talented young vibraphonist, one who had already proven himself as a sideman and was breaking new ground as a master technician on his instrument, utilizing four mallets simultaneously with seemingly little effort. Joining him on this sophomore outing is a septet that includes Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer (who is strangely not listed anywhere on the album jacket), and Joe Morello. The play list is anything but predictable, with two exciting originals by drummer Chris Swanson (a fellow Berklee alum), a well-crafted arrangement of George Shearing's "Conception," an elegant take of "My Funny Valentine" with a gorgeous flügelhorn solo by Terry, and an obscure but high-energy work by Jaki Byard, "One Note." Although Burton is obviously a very confident soloist, he feels no need to hog the spotlight (a common mistake by young jazz musicians in later decades), as he is happy to step back and let the veterans take center stage. ~ Ken Dryden


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