Opus Half – 1995
Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone
One of the hardest-swinging performances ever by vibraphonist Gary Burton
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Gary Burton became famous not only for his ability to play vibes in a virtuosic fashion utilizing four mallets, but for his adventurous music which ranged from early fusion and post bop jazz to introspective ECM explorations and championing a variety of top young guitarists.
However this performance of “Opus Half” is quite a bit different.
A duet with pianist Makoto Ozone, “Opus Half” (an obscurity recorded by the Benny Goodman Quartet with Lionel Hampton) features the two musicians swinging quite hard including some rare stride piano from Ozone.
The joy displayed during the interplay by Burton and Ozone is exhilarating.