Grusin-Rosen Productions, predictably, presents the jazz vibraphone from two different perspectives -- traditional and contemporary. Two cuts each from Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson give listeners the swinging, bluesy, cool, boppish, and big-band feeling, while four split evenly between Gary Burton and Dave Samuels present the fusiony, Latin-infused, and bordering-on-smooth-jazz side. Whether these concepts belong next to each other in a compilation is strictly up to the listener, but the styles do clash, and are not programmed homogenously. These eight cuts are representative of how well these four vibe masters play, ranging from Hampton's classic "Flying Home" to Jackson cool and fiery on his respective tracks, Burton with a contemporary samba and featuring Pat Metheny (this track from Burton's Reunion should prompt you to buy that complete session), and the Cuban elements extant in Samuels, if not quite a bit commercially compromised. These artists' single CDs are better buys than scratching the surface with this brief taste.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos