This set (reissued in 1995 on CD) was a change of pace for vibraphonist Gary Burton after so many relatively introspective sets for ECM. Burton is featured with a octet that also includes Bill Pierce on tenor, altoist Larry Monroe and trumpeter Jeff Stout. The music is generally modern hard bop with some real cookers (such as Cedar Walton's "Firm Roots") alternating with solid ballads. Among the highlights are James Williams's jazz waltz "Soulful Bill," John Scofield's playful "Why 'd You Do It" and Burton's unaccompanied workout on the thoughtful "Crystal Silence." This mostly straightahead set is not all that essential but does adds to the strong musical legacy of Gary Burton.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow