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.
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.
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 new quartet marked the beginning of a new era of Gary Burton's recordings. With a sizable and varied discography on two labels already behind him, Burton became one of the key players in the early ECM Records stable. Guitarist Mick Goodrick and the rhythm section of drummer Harry Blazer and bassist Abraham Laboriel provide Burton's vibes with the sprightly support and interplay that others borrowed from and took into the realm of fusion. ~ CDUniverse
This collection contains samples from almost all of my life’s musical efforts, starting with recent albums and going back, with a few selections from ECM releases of my work by other artists, to the early sixties.” This is the :rarum disc that reaches the furthest into history as Carla’s “Ictus” is played by Jimmy Giuffre’s 1961 trio: this was music that laid the groundwork for the “chamber jazz” ECM would later explore more extensively. There is music with the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra and with the Liberation Music Orchestra, and with Carla’s large and small ensembles as documented on WATT, and no shortage of star soloists…
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.