Two of vibraphonist Gary Burton's albums from 1969-1970 are reissued in full on this single CD. Burton teams up with pianist Keith Jarrett for five numbers (including four of Jarrett's originals) in 1970, using a quintet that also features guitarist Sam Brown, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Bill Goodwin. The other session has more of an avant-country flavor, with Burton, Swallow, and Goodwin joined by guitarist Jerry Hahn and violinist Richard Greene; Michael Gibbs and Swallow contributed most of the obscurities. Burton was at his most explorative during this period, which is why he can be considered one of the pioneers of fusion (although his music never really fit into a tight category). This is excellent music that mostly still sounds fresh.
Jarrett brings to his Mozart repertoire steadiness of interpretation and relaxation that may surprise listeners who know him mainly for the adventurousness and quirks of his celebrated marathon solo recordings. A jazz pianist performing classical music might be expected to take rubato liberties. Jarrett does not. His reading of the magnificent pre-Romantic D-minor concerto No. 20, K. 466, employs effective dynamics without extremes in the direction of Arthur Rubenstein's daring and exuberance in the rondo, Mitsuko Uchida's mystique behind the beat in the romance movement or Clara Haskil's blurred articulation at the piano entry in the allegro.
Pianist Keith Jarrett goes it alone on The Melody at Night, With You. No stranger to solo recitals, here Jarrett tackles familiar standards along with a few traditional pieces and as we come to expect, the performances are near flawless. Part of the beauty and majesty of it all lies within Jarrett's penchant for understatement and ebullience while possessing an astounding sense of depth and range. Throughout this recording, Jarrett has seemingly decided to forego any semblance of dramatics as he vividly sets the scenario for the listener along with the partner of his or her choice as they may sit in front of a soft burning fire under dim lights.