This edition pesents the complete Gary Burton LP Who Is Gary Burton? (RCA Victor LSP-2665), appearing here for the first time ever on CD. It showcases Burton in a septet format accompanied by such stars as Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Tommy Flanagan, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet's drummer, Joe Morello. The only five quintet tracks from Joe Morello's LP It's About Time, recorded the previous year and also featuring Burton and Woods, have been added here as a bonus. Also are include the complete original LP Subtle Swing (Sesac PM3901/3902), featuring Burton in a quintet format with the leader of the album, guitarist Hank Garland.
Gary Burton, the astonishing virtuoso of the vibraphone. A child prodigy who achieved renown among musicians who marveled at his dazzling technique and originality of conception. Throughout a long career that traversed Nashville, George Shearing, Stan Getz, psychedelia, improvisation, free jazz, jazz rock and fusion, he retained a creative disposition; looking always to broaden his musical horizon and to push the boundaries of musical convention. Burton's innovations include the revival and adaptation of the use of a four mallet technique which enabled him to significantly increase the scope of his sound.
This combination works. Vibraphonist Gary Burton and pianist Keith Jarrett (along with guitarist Sam Brown, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Bill Goodwin) play four Jarrett originals plus Steve Swallow's "Como en Vietnam." Elements of pop music, rock, country, and the jazz avant-garde are used in the mixture of styles and the results are quite logical.
When one thinks of pairing vibraphonist Gary Burton with another soloist, Chick Corea comes foremost to mind. Burton’s work with guitarist Ralph Towner could hardly be more different, for where the former configuration funnels into a colorful storm of activity, in the latter we find far more intimate gestures articulated in monochrome. Case in point: “Maelstrom,” which starts us on the inside, spinning on its edge like a coin teetering at the promise of rest. Towner is as delicate as ever, fitting his harmonic staircases into Burton’s Escherian architecture with ease. This piece also highlights Towner’s compositional talents, which make up eight of the album’s nine tracks (the only exception being the slice of sonic apple pie that is “Blue In Green”).
One of the preeminent vibraphonist's in jazz, this CD contains two complete LPs from the onset of Gary Burton’s career. The trio album New Vibe Man in Town marks Burton’s debut LP as a leader, while the quartet album Jazz Winds from a New Direction showcase the vibraphonist in collaboration with celebrated guitarist Hank Garland. Drummer Joe Morello is featured on both albums.
This set of duets between vibraphonist Gary Burton and pianist Makoto Ozone is a bit of a surprise, not the quiet and introverted date one might expect but a consistently exciting outing. The duo (who first started working together back in 1982) clearly inspires each other and a lot of sparks fly. The music ranges from three of Ozone's diverse originals and Astor Piazzola's "Laura's Romance" to a pair of Thelonious Monk tunes, a few standards and a romping version of the Benny Goodman-associated "Opus Half"; on the latter Ozone plays some creditable stride piano. More than half of the selections are taken at medium-to-fast tempos and, whether it be "Blue Monk," a memorable version of Jobim's "O Grande Amor" or a heated rendition of Steve Swallow's "Eiderdown," this is a highly enjoyable outing, one of Burton's finest of the past decade.
Gary Burton's peculiar connection and affinity for great guitarists is a proven historical fact, as he has been responsible for bringing such fantastic musicians to the world stage as Larry Coryell and Pat Metheny. On Six Pack, he joins with six different six-stringers for some decidedly varied modern jazz. Kurt Rosenwinkel makes like Metheny on the first track, the up-tempo Mitch Forman composition "Anthem." Any predictability to the song disappears in the presence of the rhythm section of Jack DeJohnette, Steve Swallow, and Mulgrew Miller. One doesn't generally think of the vibes as a blues instrument, and to be fair, it's really not, but Burton gives it the old college try on the title track, where his vibes intersect surprisingly well with Bob Berg's tenor sax and B.B. King's guitar.
Not only does this LP feature a "new quartet," but it marks the beginning of Gary Burton's longtime association with ECM. In general, Burton's ECM dates were more introverted and laid-back than his more diverse Atlantic releases, but they always had their moments of interest. On this set, the vibraphonist, guitarist Mick (then known as Michael) Goodrick, bassist Abraham Laboriel, and drummer Harry Blazer perform numbers by Chick Corea ("Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly"), Keith Jarrett ("Coral"), Gordon Beck, Carla Bley, and Mike Gibbs, in addition to Burton's "Brownout." Intriguing if not essential music.