Gary Burton's Generations



GARY Burton ensured a predictably high-class finale to the Glasgow Jazz Festival with his latest quintet featuring four very young but prodigiously talented musicians alongside the veteran vibes maestro.

Burton is one of the handful of key players on the vibes in jazz history, and his remarkably dexterity with four mallets is matched by an acute musical imagination. He has always had an excellent ear for new players, and his current crop are well up to the standard of their distinguished predecessors.

Despite having to play on a borrowed guitar (his own was still in transit), Julian Lage confirmed the glowing reports of his prowess, reeling off beautifully executed and imaginative solos in effortless fashion. Burton not only gave his protgs plenty of space to play, but also included several compositions by Lage and the exciting Ukrainian pianist Vadim Neselovski in the set, alongside more familiar material by Steve Swallow and Rodgers and Hart. The vibist also paid tribute to one his great forerunners, Milt Jackson, in a sizzling romp through Bags' Groove.

Bassist Luques Curtis and drummer James Williams provided a hard swinging rhythm section, and the whole band caught the infectious 'up' feel so characteristic of Burton's music. Not to be upstaged by the pyrotechnics around him, the vibist's own soloing underlined his standing on the instrument.