Gary Burton

Something’s Coming!/The Groovy Sound of Music/The Time Machine


Larry Coryell, Hank Garland, Pat Metheny, Buddy Emmons, Chet Atkins, Mick Goodrick, Jerry Hahn, Ralph Towner, Eric Gale, Sam Brown, John Scofield, Russell Malone, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Joe Beck, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Kevin Eubanks, Julian Lage, and even B.B. King.

All of these guitarists have recorded with Gary Burton, the genre-embracing jazz vibraphonist and educator. And with this double-CD encompassing three Burton albums from the mid ’60s, you can add Jim Hall and Joe Puma to the list of guitar greats.

As respected as Burton is, it’s easy to overlook that his catalog, from age 17 (on Garland’s legendary Jazz Winds session) to 73, is one of the most varied and impressive in modern jazz.

Something’s Coming! (’64) was recorded after the 20-year-old vibist left pianist George Shearing’s group. The interplay with Hall is reminiscent of the guitarist’s work with Bill Evans and Paul Desmond. Along with standards like “Summertime,” the album features Hall’s 16-bar blues, “Careful.”

While The Groovy Sound of Music (’65) may seem gimmicky – jazz arrangements of music from the Julie Andrews movie – and Burton essentially disowned the album, it’s far from schlock. Puma takes the lead on “My Favorite Things,” which also features saxophonist Phil Woods and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer.

The Time Machine (’66), an amazing experiment in multi-tracking, doesn’t include guitar, but it’s icing on this delectable cake.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.