It was 1964 and Stan Getz was having a problem finding a pianist for his newly constituted quartet. Someone (reportedly Lou Levy) suggested that instead of a piano player, Getz hire young vibraphone player Gary Burton. It was a fortuitous choice, as this pianoless quartet was one of Getz's more interesting and musically enterprising groups. The event this LP captured, the Brilliant Canadian Concert in Vancouver of 1965, was a prime example of Burton's work during his two-year sojourn with the quartet. His skill with the four-mallet vibraphone technique reached its zenith on "My Funny Valentine." Getz was at the peak of his form. He can make his saxophone sound tender and biting at the same time, creating a sound that is instantly recognizable and which no other sax player would ever duplicate. Also during this period, his tone was so light and airy that it often sounded as if he was on alto. One of the compelling features of this album is that Getz introduces each tune, and on a couple of occasions shows his sardonic wit. In introducing Burton's "A Singing Song," Getz informs the audience that "instead of a 4/4 time signature, we will be using a 6/8 time signature, which means absolutely nothing." This must have driven jazz technocrats up the wall. Gene Cherico's bass and Joe Hunt's drums excel in rhythmic support with the bass player getting significant solo time on "Morning of the Carnival." The quartet's concert in Vancouver is in a series of five. The other sets featured Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond. And, like this event, all were of the highest caliber.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan