Down Beat - 5/97, p.624 Stars (out of 5)
- "...The clarity of Burton's musical intelligence is continuously apparent. And the sound of his vibraharp--purely its sensual auditory stimulus--is one of the most reliable pleasures in jazz..."
Personnel: Gary Burton (vibraphone); Fred Hersch (piano); John Scofield (guitar); John Patitucci (bass); Peter Erskine (drums).
Personnel: Gary Burton (vibraphone); John Scofield (guitar); Fred Hersch (piano); Peter Erskine (drums).
Arrangers: Gary Burton ; Tommy Kamp.
For his first album for the Concord jazz imprint, vibraphonist Gary Burton goes back: back to some of the most enduring compositions in the jazz lexicon, constructing the program on Departure completely from jazz standards, except for "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs" (the theme from the television show Frasier). Along with guitarist John Scofield, drummer Peter Erskine, pianist Fred Hersch, and bassist John Patitucci, Burton also returns here to the quicksilver, porcelain sound of the George Shearing quintet, Burton's first job after graduating from the Berklee College of Music. For the uninitiated, Departure is a worthwhile introduction to Burton's style on vibes, with his strong sense of swing swaddled in a sound that's most often elegant yet sometimes surprisingly funky. Scofield really shines here, too. Departure is also a great way to discover less-known compositions by some of the best-known composers and performers in the history of jazz, including Duke Ellington ("Depk," from his "Far East Suite"), Chick Corea ("Japanese Waltz"), and Horace Silver ("Ecaroh," which is "Horace" spelled backwards), as well as Mel Torm‚ ("Born to Be Blue"), and "If I Were a Bell," a staple that rang throughout in the 1950s repertoire of Miles Davis and whose title chimes harmoniously with the sonorities of Burton's vibes. ~ Chris Slawecki