This two-fer brings together two key Gary Burton Quartet works of the the late '60s. After 1967's Duster, the Quartet went on to collaborate with composer Carla Bley on A Genuine Tong Funeral, a quirky, mordant jazz "opera" that owes as much to Kurt Weill as to Charles Mingus. Besides Burton, guitarist Larry Coryell, and bassist Steve Swallow, the free-spirited drummer Bob Moses makes his appearnce, having replaced veteran Roy Haynes. Other Bley stalwarts include saxophonists Gato Barbieri and Steve Lacy, who pop in and out of the vivid cartoon-like musical narrative.
Two of vibraphonist Gary Burton's albums from 1969-1970 are reissued in full on this single CD. Burton teams up with pianist Keith Jarrett for five numbers (including four of Jarrett's originals) in 1970, using a quintet that also features guitarist Sam Brown, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Bill Goodwin. The other session has more of an avant-country flavor, with Burton, Swallow, and Goodwin joined by guitarist Jerry Hahn and violinist Richard Greene; Michael Gibbs and Swallow contributed most of the obscurities. Burton was at his most explorative during this period, which is why he can be considered one of the pioneers of fusion (although his music never really fit into a tight category). This is excellent music that mostly still sounds fresh.
With longtime bassist Steve Swallow, the return of drummer Roy Haynes, and the debut of guitarist Jerry Hahn, Gary Burton's second quartet continued his open-minded policy toward other styles of music. In addition to both melodic and advanced jazz, Burton incorporates elements of country, rock, pop and even classical music on this fairly rare LP, Country Roads and Other Places. Whether it be a "Ravel Prelude," "Wichita Breakdown" or "My Foolish Heart," the music is full of logical surprises that foreshadow the eclectic nature of much of '80s and '90s jazz.
For his first album for the Concord jazz imprint, vibraphonist Gary Burton goes back: back to some of the most enduring compositions in the jazz lexicon, constructing the program on Departure completely from jazz standards, except for "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs" (the theme from the television show Frasier). Along with guitarist John Scofield, drummer Peter Erskine, pianist Fred Hersch, and bassist John Patitucci, Burton also returns here to the quicksilver, porcelain sound of the George Shearing quintet, Burton's first job after graduating from the Berklee College of Music…
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. The excitement on the cover here is very well-placed – and RCA clearly knows they've got something special on their hands – the launch of vibist Gary Burton as a leader – a force in jazz that would continue strongly for decades to come! At the time of the record, Burton had already been making waves as a session player on the Nashville scene – where RCA had some especially strong ears – but he's launched here in a mode that's quite far from those roots, and already filled with those modern, chromatic modes that would have Burton pushing the sound of the vibes forward strongly throughout his career – even on an early record like this! The group is very like-minded, and well-chosen – players who are spacious and modern, but never too much so – a quartet with Jim Hall on guitar, Chuck Israels on bass, and Larry Bunker on drums.
During 1991-92, clarinetist Eddie Daniels and vibraphonist Gary Burton teamed up on a tour, performing a tribute to Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton. Never mind that they sound nothing at all like their predecessors. On the CD that resulted from the collaboration, the duo use pianist Mulgrew Miller (who sounds much more like McCoy Tyner than Teddy Wilson), bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Peter Erskine for 11 songs associated with the King of Swing plus Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist."