For those not familiar, Gary Burton has been one of the mainstays in the world of jazz and jazz fusion for the last thirty years. His pioneering melodic free-form style on the vibraphone is sheer magic to the ears, and on this live DVD, performing two different sets with two different trios, Burton's uncanny abilities are captured on video.
The first set shows Burton playing with the Hum Trio, the group of drummer Daniel Humere. Kicking off with the beautiful solo spot on "My Foolish Heart", Burton effortlessly weaves countless melodies on the vibes as if the instrument were a voice. The band kicks in on the hard be-bop of "The Night Has Thousand Eyes", featuring a nimble acoustic bass solo from Pierre Michlot. "African Flower" is a more straight up jazz piece, with nice piano touches from Rene Autreger, and the closer "Bud Powell" is a rollicking swing track with cascades of melodic vibes from Burton.
Set two features Burton and the Ahmad Jamal Trio, and here is where things get interesting. Jamal and his mates are the perfect combination of swing, fusion, and funk, and mixed with the virtuoso talents of Burton this set really cooks. The 13 minute "Bogota" is a tour-de-force of classic, complex jazz, with Burton and Jamal trading some wild vibes and piano solos while Subu Adeyloa lays down some heavy, funky grooves on the upright acoustic bass. "Autumn Leaves" is a melodic swing tune, complemented perfectly by the deft drum work of Crosley Payton. The ending song is "One", another complex piece with dizzying piano lines from Jamal that weave in and out of Burton's melodic jaunts.
This DVD is a great visual experience. What Gary Burton can do with four sticks and a vibraphone is amazing to behold, and half the time he plays with his eyes closed. His longevity on the scene is something to be proud of , and his associations with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, and many other jazz greats over the years is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great material he has ammassed.