This recording is most notable for documenting the young guitarist Pat Metheny's short but important stint as a member of vibraphonist Gary Burton's group. Actually Metheny at the time was the least known of the five players (which also include guitarist Mick Goodrick, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses) and his contributions are not as significant as those of Burton and composer Carla Bley who contributed all six of the originals. The moody music, which still sounds quite fresh, is highlighted by the title cut, "Ictus/Syndrome" and "Intermission Music."
Classic Mellow, Vol. 4 includes many mellow lost treasures. Many of these extended versions were available to the buying public; some were only issued for promotional purposes to radio stations and street and club DJs. Feast on Prince's protegee Taja Sevelle's "Love Is Contagious," Patrice Rushen's "Feels So Real (Won't Let Go)," Meli'sa Morgan's sensual cover of Prince's "Do Me Baby," the Stanley Clarke/Howard Hewett duet "Heaven Sent You," Richard "Dimples" Fields' "She's Got Papers on Me," the answer record "She's Got the Papers (I Got the Man)" by Barbara Mason, and the "Juicy Fruit" sound-alike "Sugarfree" by Juicy. Classic Mellow,Vol 4 is available in both a two-record set and a single CD.