Thursday, 11 June 2015

“Duster/Country Roads & Other Places” by THE GARY BURTON QUARTET (2014 Beat Goes On CD – Andrew Thompson Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry

“…Ensemble Integrity…”

This is a smart reissue – and done with real style. Indiana-born Vibraphonist GARY BURTON was already seven albums into a remarkable career at the age of only 24 (he was spotted by fellow label mate and country star Chet Atkins). This beautiful sounding BGO CD reissue offers fans two hugely sought-after vinyl Stereo rarities - his 8th and 9th LPs on RCA Records.

UK released August 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1157 (Barcode 5017261211576) breaks down as follows (68:01 minutes):

1. Ballet
2. Sweet Rain
3. Portsmouth Figurations
4. General Mojo’s Well Laid Plan
5. One, Two, 1-2-3-4
6. Sing Me Softly Of The Blues
7. Liturgy
8. Response
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album “Duster” – released 1967 in the US and UK on RCA Records LSP-3835

9. Country Roads
10. The Green Mountains
11. True Or False
12. Gone, But Forgotten
13. Ravel Prelude (Le Tombeau De Couperin: Prelude)
14. And On The Third Day
15. A Singing Song
16. Wichita Breakdown
17. My Foolish Heart
18. A Family Joy
Tracks 9 to 18 are the album “Country Roads & Other Places” – released 1969 in the USA on RCA Records LSP 4098 and in the UK on RCA Records SF 8042

The first LP has GARY BURTON on Vibes, LARRY CORYELL on Guitar, STEVE SWALLOW on Bass and RICHARD HAYNES on Drums with JERRY HAIN replacing Coryell on Guitar for the 2nd album.

The chunky 20-page booklet has detailed and informative liner notes by noted genre expert CHARLES WARING with reminiscences from the great man himself and full session/recording facts. There’s pictures of Burton in the studio (complete with hip goatee), repro’d artwork and a lovely card slipcase on the outside. But what really hits you is the stunning audio quality. From the moment “Ballet” opens “Duster” and on to “General Mojo’s Well Laid Plan” – the 2014 ANDREW THOMPSON remaster hammers home the craftsmanship of the playing and the gorgeous BRAD McCUEN production values for both records.

The playing is exquisite throughout and the Steve Swallow (of Stan Getz’s band) and Michael Gibbs original songs more than impress – they’re full of beautifully played moments allowing both Coryell and Hain to let rip on their guitars while Gary does his tasteful thing in the background.

A beautifully realized remaster with quality presentation - top notch - and a definite reissue of 2014 in my book…

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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