from All About Jazz.com
Keyboardist Ryan Burns possesses a distinctive artistry, one that is integral to the success of the sound of the Matt Jorgensen + 451 group on sets such as Hope (Origin Records, 2004) and Another Morning (Origin Records, 2008), and with trumpeter Thomas Marriott on the strange and stellar Crazy:The Music of Willie Nelson (Origin Records, 2008). Burns also works as a leader on the acoustic piano trio set Tree-O (Old Bird Records, 2007), and now on the plugged-in Birds. A fine pianist, Burns is virtuosic and always adventurous on the electric side of the keyboard spectrum.
Birds opens with the title tune that he introduced on the Hope CD. The sound glows into existence on luminescent electric keys at a measured pace. The dry, tart sound of Mark Taylor’s alto saxophone seeps in, counterpointing the Fender Rhodes gleam with Burns’ stick-in-the-mind melody. “June Bug” has an eerie, exploration-of-another-planet vibe, with bassist Geoff Cooke and drummer Joe Martinez supplying an altered gravity rhythm behind the leader’s otherworldly safari.