The Concert was recorded in Tokyo, Japan 1981.I have only attended one Chick Corea Concert some 20 or more years ago, the Electric Band, which he played with at the time, was so loud that it was painful to listen to and I left after the first half. It has taken me till now to listen again to his work! On the basis of this DVD I have missed out on a lot, Garry Burton and Chick Corea are master musicians and their work together is really exhilarating. All the compositions are written by Corea, but both musicians contribute to the musical entertainment in equal amounts. I have enjoyed Gary Burton' playing with Stan Getz and the GRP Big Band and know him to be the leading light of the contemporary vibes field. Both musicians' posses a phenomenal technique and the interplay between the two of them have to be seen and heard to be believed.
This is a selection of original compositions by the very original Carla Bley, played by a small group of Jazz musicians who represent both traditional, R&B and avant garde influences - another way of saying they're gifted and versatile. They're playing sophisticated compositions with that sense of verve, ease and informality that brings an element of joy to great Jazz. I was tempted to take off one star for the piece on which Bley sings because it seems self-indulgent and a bit silly compared to the rest, but good humor prevails throughout, and, let's face it, she's entitled. The rest of the pieces are so good that one less than stellar track shouldn't bring the rating down. It's worth noting that three of these compositions had previously been recorded by Art Farmer and Gary Burton, but Bley gives them adventurously different treatments here.
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.
Praising a previous incarnation of Steve Swallows quintet, The Times of London described the band as near a perfect display of small-group jazz robust yet exquisitely poised.
Vibraphone innovator Gary Burton recorded a wealth of material for ECM during his 15 year tenure with the label. His anthology highlights the exceptional groups he led in the 1970s and 1980s. Burton’s quartets, quintets, and sextets introduced many remarkable players to a wider public, and these selections feature inspired performances by Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, Steve Swallow, Eberhard Weber, Bob Moses, Makoto Ozone and more. “We toured up to two hundred days a year,” Burton recalls. “The recordings we made were snapshots of the evolution of my working bands during this highly productive period.”
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."
This CD contains some interesting material not found elsewhere. Recorded live at Palace of Festivals Theatre in Cannes, France in January 1981 and January 1983, the disc features Metheny, Gary Burton, the Heath Brothers, Ahmad Jamal, and the Hum Trio. It is very hard to find and available only on the Fruit Tree (Italy) label (1999). Highly recommended, this CD will be irrestible to fans of quartet-format jazz or any of the artists, who seem to have been captured at their best.
After a decade of leading quartets that matched his vibes with a variety of top young guitarists, Gary Burton decided that it was time for a change. While he is joined by a pair of longtime associates (bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Roy Haynes), the fourth member of the group on this set is the young trumpeter Tiger Okoshi. Since Burton has never been a major composer, the CD reissue finds the group playing five Swallow originals, two by Keith Jarrett, and Jim Hall's "Careful." Okoshi's presence adds more fire to this session than was typical of most of Burton's previous records. A fine outing.