Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Gary Burton – Duster (RCA 1967, Koch 1997)

Duster is considered to be one of the first jazz fusion albums recorded, bringing together the intricacy of jazz with the energy and drive of rock and roll. This record is actually quite jazzy, and doesn’t have quite the experimental bent of the Miles Davis fusion records of the period.

Burton is joined by Larry Coryell on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. Coryell does get in a few good high-intensity solos, but much of the music takes on a mellow, contemplative vibe (no pun intended.) “Ballet” and “Sweet Rain” introduce the group’s sound dynamic – shimmering vibraphone, electric guitar and bass, backed by Haynes nimble and tasteful drumming. There’s some interesting group interplay as well as solid soloing from all involved.

It’s a solid and interesting record, Burton’s early career was filled with interesting work with Stan Getz, Carla Bley and others. This is jazz with a low-level electrical jolt.

Rating: 7

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