Various: Next Generation

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LABELS: Concord
ALBUM TITLE: Next Generation
WORKS: Next Generation
PERFORMER: Gary Burton (vibraphone), Julian Lage (guitar), Vadim Neselovskyi (piano), Lugues Curtis (bass), James Williams (drums)
The doyen of the vibraphone has already packed many good things into what must be one of the most consistent careers in jazz, but here he adds to his list of accomplishments by showcasing the talents of several of his younger musical associates with excellent results. This mixture of lively, airy and gently modern pieces are for the most part composed by the musicians involved, although a couple of Burton’s earlier collaborators, Pat Metheny and Mike Goodrick, also get a look in, as does Samuel Barber (the fourth movement of his Piano Sonata retitled ‘Fuga’). As a band this unit hangs together perfectly, but pianist Neselovskyi’s contribution is exceptional and brings to mind the kind of interaction exhibited when Burton worked with Chick Corea. The recorded sound is excellent, too, although the announced ‘bonus track’ listed in the booklet doesn’t actually appear on the disc! Roger Thomas