Gary Burton

Generations

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Vibraphonist Gary Burton's place in the jazz firmament has long been assured, but he has no intention of sitting on the sidelines as others enter the field. Instead, Burton has a knack for reaching out to younger players, thus leading to the title of his 2004 release, Generations. More specifically, the title refers to guitarist Julian Lage, a new talent on the jazz scene whose low profile can be attributed to the fact that he's a sophomore in high school. Lage's cool sound, inspired by Jim Hall, perfectly complements the lightness of Burton's vibes, giving Generations a relaxed, mellow sound. Burton and Lage are joined by pianist Makoto Ozone, bassist James Genus, and drummer Clarence Penn on well-worn classics like Oscar Peterson's "Wheatland" and more recent classics like Pat Metheny's "Take Another Look." Ozone proves something of a linchpin between the lead players and the rhythm section, offering light, lovely solos on pieces like "The Title Will Follow" and a flurry of rhythmic chords on "Ladies in Mercedes." Burton's predilection toward new ideas can also be discerned by his inclusion of a great deal of new material written by Lage (three pieces) and Ozone (two pieces). Generations is another fine effort by Burton, an excellent introduction to Lage, and above all, a solid recording by a fine group playing in synchronicity.

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