Album Reviews

The New Gary Burton Quartet – Guided Tour (Mack Avenue)

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New Gary Burton Quartet Guided tourGary Burton, the pioneer of the four-mallet vibraphone technique, again exhibits his unfaltering vision of what playing that instrument should be in his newest release, Guided Tour.

Joined by 25-year-old guitar prodigy Julian Lage, Burton, at 70 years old, has no trouble keeping up. On “Sunday’s Uncle,” Burton and Lage engage in a dexterous counterpoint melody that mimics some of Burton’s best work, such as his collaboration with Chick Corea. Veterans Scott Colley (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums) demonstrate their deep techniques as well, weaving color and texture into their performances. The album comes to a satisfying end with Sanchez’s “Monk Fish,” which is a new romp on familiar chords infused with the wry humor of Thelonious Monk. 

Guided Tour serves as a magnificent follow-up to 2011’s Common Ground, and the pairing of Burton’s vibraphone and Lage’s guitar works better than ever. Despite his age, Burton seems to be just warming up.

– Charley Raiff

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