"Back to Back"

Downbeat Magazine Review


**** (4 star rating)


On Back to Back Burns shares the billing with Moore, who helped fire up several of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys' classic Western swing recordings of the 1940's. Another Texas Playboy, guitarist Eldon Shamblin, was also on hand for this date. The rhythm section included bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, which poses the question: Could accomplished musicians from such vastly different jazz backgrounds gel in a studio today?


Moore and Burns' rapid interplay is immediately announced as each staccato line triggers an equally swift response ("Flickin' My Pick"). This daredevil phrasing makes one wonder why eager young firebrands don't reach for this axe more frequently. But on such slow numbers as "Moonlight Waltz", these vets and guest David Grisman do wonders with the mandolins' trills. Manne's brushwork balances their dialogue, most persuasively on "Diane". While Brown probably never thought he would play Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" in this context, his bop experience fits right in. The bonus disc's studio banter indicates what fun this session must have been.