This recording is simply sheer brilliance. All five players are in the top echelon in their genre. It's not just the individual virtuosity, it's also the group interplay that makes this CD so wondrous. The choice of material (all compositions by Metheny, Corea, or Burton, plus one Gershwin tune) also suits the collective personnel well; all tunes provide the framework for intricate interplay during the melody lines as well as inspired improvizations and sensitive comping. The program features new settings for some of the composers' classic works (including Corea's "Windows," Metheny's "Question and Answer," and Burton's "Country Roads") and a new composition by each of these three written especially for this recording (Corea's "Futures," Metheny's "Elucidation," Burton's "Like Minds").
Although Metheny plays electric guitar, this is still what one would consider an acoustic date. Most of the tunes fit into a comfortable, mid-tempo groove, occasionally slowing down to a pensive, laid-back ballad. There are no chops-busting barnburners - this quintet doesn't need volume or power to generate excitement or intensity. There's musical interest at every turn. This CD will continue to be rewarding after multiple plays. It's fascinating to listen to the tunes while concentrating on the accompaniment rather than the lead voice. Corea's backgrounds are especially notable.
Surprisingly, this is the first time Chick Corea and Pat Metheny have recorded together.But given their common backgrounds with the other three musicians (especially their partnerships with Burton), they established a rapport instantly. "Question and Answer" was the first tune recorded during the session, and its first take is presented here. Amazing!(Concord 4803)
Tracks:Question and Answer; Elucidation; Windows; Futures; Like Minds; Country Roads; Tears of Rain; Soon; For a Thousand Years; Straight Up and Down. (68:25)
Gary Burton, vibes; Chick Corea, piano; Pat Metheny, guitar; Roy Haynes, drums; Dave Holland, bass.