Down Beat - 1/02, p.473.5 stars out of 5
- "...Burton is in fine rhythmic and melodic form on this thoughtful, jamming tribute..."
Personnel: Gary Burton (vibraphone, marimba, xylophone); Russell Malone (guitar); Mulgrew Miller, Makoto Ozone, Danilo Perez (piano); Christian McBride, John Patitucci (bass); Horacio Hernandez, Lewis Nash (drums); Luis Quintero (percussion).
Recorded at Avatar Studio C, New York, New York on May 11, 23 & 24, 2000 and at Berklee Recording Studio, Boston, Massachusetts on June 3, 2000. Includes liner notes by Neil Tesser.
"Move" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.
It is only logical that Gary Burton, the modern master of the vibraphone, should pay tribute to the giants of his instrument in the past. With this set, Burton offers homage to Lionel Hampton (Hamp), Red Norvo, Milt Jackson (Bags), and Cal Tjader by performing and updating their greatest signature tunes. Burton has long been recognized as having culminated all the developments of these past masters into his own virtuoso style. Here he expertly displays these abilities on the very pieces that inspired him along the way.
The disc mainly alternates between sophisticated Latin grooves, as in the opening classic "Afro Blue," and traditional swing numbers like Hampton's great "Flying Home." Burton shows the uncanny ability to be both a technical wizard, employing a flurrying barrage of four-mallet technique, and to swing unrelentingly. Cuts like the old fashioned "Back Home Again In Indiana" and Denzil Best's swinger "Move" exhibits these abilities to the fullest. In the end, the two most intriguing tracks are the ending tributes to Red Norvo, the ragtime "Hole in the Wall" and the impressionistic "Dance of the Octopus," which find Burton performing on xylophone and marimba, respectively.