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Jazz - Released January 24, 2014 | ECM

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Jazz - Released July 19, 2019 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 7, 2017 | ECM

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Jazz - Released August 2, 2019 | ECM

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2009 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Concord Records

Talk about all-star groups -- this quintet date matches together vibraphonist Gary Burton with pianist Chick Corea, guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Roy Haynes. Burton and Corea have recorded frequently through the years, while Metheny gained some early fame working with Burton; Holland was with Corea in Miles Davis' late-'60s group, and Haynes was formerly with both Burton and Corea. However, not all of these musicians had played together before -- Corea had never worked with Metheny previously, nor Burton with Holland. No matter, the masterful players fit together quite well. The vibraphonist is the lead voice in the ensembles, where Metheny at times sounds close to Jim Hall and seems a bit restrained, but everyone gets a chance to contribute to the success of the CD. Metheny contributed five songs (including "Question and Answer" and "Elucidation," which deserves to be a standard), while Burton brought in two; Corea's three contributions include his classic "Windows." The lone standard is George Gershwin's "Soon." The music is modern straight-ahead jazz; the solos are concise and the rhythm section is quite tight. In fact, this sounds like a regularly working band. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released September 19, 1988 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Concord Records

Gary Burton has had many stellar moments over the years, and in the 1990s, one of his finest achievements was Astor Piazzolla Reunion, a heartfelt tribute to the late Argentinean tango innovator and bandoneon master. Having toured and recorded with Piazzolla in the 1980s, Burton clearly had a strong appreciation of his legacy, and that appreciation comes through in a major way on arrangements of "Tanguedia," "Romance Del Diablo," and other gems by Piazzolla (whose risk-taking approach to tango generated as much controversy in tango circles as Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane did in jazz). But as passionately as Burton expresses his love of Piazzolla's distinctive music, the vibist's own identity doesn't become buried or obscured. The CD's only major flaw is "Mi Refugio"; Burton has taken Piazzolla's 1970 solo performance of that Juan Carlos Cobian classic and overdubbed his vibes to make it sound like they're performing a duet. Even if Burton had the best of intentions, the end result is deception and cheap, crude exploitation. But otherwise, this album is outstanding. ~ Alex Henderson
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Jazz - Released November 4, 2008 | ECM

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Jazz - Released September 19, 1988 | ECM

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Jazz - Released March 18, 2016 | RCA Victor - Legacy

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Jazz - Released July 26, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Because Gary Burton uses four mallets simultaneously, he has long been able to sound like two or three players at once. This remarkable solo set has three selections in which Burton overdubs vibes with piano, electric piano, and organ, but those are far overshadowed by three unaccompanied vibes showcased from the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival and a slightly later (and very memorable) studio rendition of "Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)." The latter is one of the high points of Gary Burton's career. Wondrous music. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released July 26, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Throughout much of the latter half of the 1960s, the music of vibraphonist Gary Burton was heavily influenced by rock. But the dominance of electronics and the tendency toward long vamps on tunes like "Vibrafinger" sound rather dated and less satisfying than the vast majority of his other recordings from the era. "Las Vegas Tango" at first shows some promise, but the excessive guitars and percussion soon take over. Check out his far superior quartet albums for ECM and RCA instead. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released May 26, 2009 | Concord Jazz

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Jazz - Released November 16, 2000 | ECM

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Jazz - Released November 16, 2000 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Concord Records

Vibraphonist Gary Burton's place in the jazz firmament has long been assured, but he has no intention of sitting on the sidelines as others enter the field. Instead, Burton has a knack for reaching out to younger players, thus leading to the title of his 2004 release, Generations. More specifically, the title refers to guitarist Julian Lage, a new talent on the jazz scene whose low profile can be attributed to the fact that he's a sophomore in high school. Lage's cool sound, inspired by Jim Hall, perfectly complements the lightness of Burton's vibes, giving Generations a relaxed, mellow sound. Burton and Lage are joined by pianist Makoto Ozone, bassist James Genus, and drummer Clarence Penn on well-worn classics like Oscar Peterson's "Wheatland" and more recent classics like Pat Metheny's "Take Another Look." Ozone proves something of a linchpin between the lead players and the rhythm section, offering light, lovely solos on pieces like "The Title Will Follow" and a flurry of rhythmic chords on "Ladies in Mercedes." Burton's predilection toward new ideas can also be discerned by his inclusion of a great deal of new material written by Lage (three pieces) and Ozone (two pieces). Generations is another fine effort by Burton, an excellent introduction to Lage, and above all, a solid recording by a fine group playing in synchronicity. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Concord Records

The vibraphone legend calls this wide-ranging tribute collection his most satisfying effort to date (this is a major catalog), and the one that hits closest to home. No doubt that's because he's digging deep into his past and paying homage to the legends of the instrument who shaped his own inimitable style. The four mentioned by the album title all had unique roles in the development of the instrument as a jazz focal point, and it's amazing to realize the vibes were only invented 75 years ago -- just one generation before Burton was born. Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo pioneered mallet jazz; Milt "Bags" Jackson gave it the lyrical phrasing of a horn, achieving a great transformation, and Cal Tjader made it a staple of the cool school and '50s Latin jazz. As a result, Burton can pretty much go wild rhythmically, improvisationally, and stylistically -- the disc rolls like one big mallet party, surprising listeners with where it darts next. The first two tracks, a frenetic rendering of Tjader's "Afro Blue" and a lighthearted skip through "Bag's Groove," set the pace as far as the project's diversity. The Hampton pieces are the moody "Midnight Sun" and feisty, jamming "Flying Home"; Norvo's tunes are the whimsical ragtime influence "Hole in the Wall" and the ambient and experimental "Dance of the Octopus"; Tjader's are the Brazilian fiesta "Joao" and lyrical "Body and Soul"; and "Django" captures the gentle side of Bags. This is a well-rounded jazz disc for even the most casual listener, but it's paradise for a hardcore vibes fan -- a fun, hour-long history lesson on the instrument by a professor who has so beautifully carried on its legacy. ~ Jonathan Widran
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Concord Records