Down Beat - p.723.5 stars out of 5
- "[Burton] does manage to match his prot‚g‚'s serious demeanor mood for mood and lick for lick, revealing Burton's gift for patient tutelage."
Personnel: Gary Burton (vibraphone); Makoto Ozone (piano); Julian Lage (guitar); James Genus (bass); Clarence Penn (drums).
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California in September 2003.
Personnel: Gary Burton (vibraphone); Julian Lage (guitar); Makoto Ozone (piano); Clarence Penn (drums).
Audio Mixer: Carl Beatty.
Recording information: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA (09/16/2003-09/18/2003).
Photographer: Bill Gallery.
Vibraphonist Gary Burton (practitioner of the "four-mallet technique" and one of the key figures in the development of fusion jazz during the late 1960s) has long been known for his ability to discover extraordinary younger musicians. GENERATIONS provides a showcase for Burton's talent-sniffing with the presence of virtuoso guitarist and composer Julian Lage. A mere sophomore in high school at the time of this 2004 release, Lage's age takes a back seat to his excellent compositions (he contributes three numbers to the record), sensitivity to group interplay, and spectacular skill as an improviser.
With a deft rhythm section of Clarence Penn on drums, James Genus on bass, and Makoto Ozone (another Burton discovery) on piano, Burton and Lage deliver an album that owes more to bop than fusion. Sophisticated takes on pieces by Steve Swallow, Pat Metheny, Oscar Peterson, and Carla Bley sparkle, as do the band's originals. Ozone and Lage's solo playing are the standouts here, complemented by Burton's distinctive style. Exploratory yet accessible, GENERATIONS is an altogether impressive release.