GARY BURTON and MAKOTO OZONE, City Hall Concert Hall VIBRAPHONIST Gary Burton has always preferred performing as part of a duo throughout his distinguished career. In collaboration with pianist Makoto Ozone at the City Hall Concert Hall, Burton maintained his reputation as an intense and inspirational improviser and musician. For many listeners the combination of piano and vibraphone must have seemed a perfect marriage. Its blend was so complete that the two instruments often sounded like one. Burton and Ozone, nevertheless, countered the potential for tonal blandness with an impressive variety of compositions, arrangements and improvisations. The works ranged from those by Benny Goodman and Thelonious Monk to the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. Though self taught, Burton is a tremendous stylist on the vibraphone. His unique four-mallet technique was initially created out of the necessity for self-accompaniment during his formative years. This style produces some rich, complex voicings similar to the piano. Indeed, Burton was more influenced by the sophisticated harmonic and melodic vocabularies of contemporary jazz pianists than earlier vibraphone players. These include greats such as Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson. Burton's playing was full of brilliant, fleet, melodic passages. These in turn were interspersed with lush chords, highlighting Burton's pioneering playing techniques. His rendition of Keith Jarrett's In a Silent Way deserves special mention. Though different from the country-rock feel of earlier interpretations, it brought out the subtlety and pensiveness of his solo playing. He was inspired, no doubt, by the introspective style of pianist Bill Evans. The diverse compositions in the concert gave Ozone the opportunity to display his mastery of jazz piano. Influences from the traditional 'stride' playing of Earl Hines, to the more flamboyant, mercurial style of Art Tatum were clear . One compelling moment was Ozone's solo rendition of the evergreen Some Day My Prince Will Come. Ozone coursed his way through a range of voicings, textures, rhythmic feels and styles. But he never lost the underlying melodic and harmonic structure. Ozone's unique voice as composer and improviser was most evident when playing his own compositions. Charged with rhythmic and harmonic tension, they provided perfect vehicles to show the percussive energy and melodic invention of both artists. The decade or so of collaboration between the two performers has produced one of the most versatile duos Burton has played in. It will surely stand equal among his other great partnerships. In the past he has collaborated with jazz greats such as Chick Corea and Ralph Towner.