Aside from "My Favorite Things," jazz musicians haven't been particularly drawn to songs from The Sound of Music, so the Groovy Sound of Music songbook by Gary Burton is quite a treat. Recorded in late 1964 for RCA Victor, the young vibraphonist's incredible four-mallet technique is already well developed. Gary McFarland contributed four of the charts, backing Burton with strings, flutes, a French horn, and a rhythm section. Among his arrangements are a swinging "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and a gentle bossa nova treatment of "An Ordinary Couple." Burton is also no slouch as an arranger. One highlight is the incredible interaction between the leader and Bob Brookmeyer's valve trombone and Phil Wood's hot clarinet in "Maria." Equally compelling is Burton's driving approach to "My Favorite Things" (a complex chart that doesn't resort to copying John Coltrane's well-known recording), which hardly sounds like the work of a 21 year old. Even better is his gorgeous solo rendition of "Edelweiss."
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden