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.
Though Heavy Heart was supposedly the "mellow, sensual" album Carla Bley had in mind, Night-Glo is more like it – a relaxed, easygoing, easy-listening series of compositions that nearly spills over into fuzak. Writing for a basic sextet with an added five-man horn section, most effectively when one color melts gently into another, Bley permits the lazy pina-colada mood to amble undisturbed from track to track.
For over 20 years, the trio of pianist Carla Bley, bassist Steve Swallow, and saxophonist Andy Sheppard have shared each other's creative company. The group's 2016 album, Andando el Tiempo, is a delicately passionate, classically influenced set. A follow-up to 2013's equally compelling Trios, Andando el Tiempo is, surprisingly, only the third album from the group after their initial live 1995 album Songs with Legs. Whereas on Trios they delved into various Bley compositions from throughout her career, on Andando el Tiempo they focus on several more recently penned works. "Naked Bridges/Diving Bridges" brings to mind the impressionism of composer Claude Debussy.
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.
In a fanciful press release for this record, Carla Bley wrote that she wanted to make a record that would "put people in a mellow, sensual mood" as opposed to getting them all riled up as usual. She must have meant some of this ironically, for while Heavy Heart is a somewhat bright, light-minded album, there are plenty of dark undercurrents to be heard. For example, take the fascinating "Light or Dark," where a light, happy texture is undercut by Hiram Bullock's intruding dissonant guitar and Kenny Kirkland's discordant comping.
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."
Quartet Live edits the best bits from a late spring 2007 two-night stay at Yoshi's, Oakland's celebrated jazz club, where many stellar live performances have been recorded. The program benefits from a wide musical selection, including material penned by Carla Bley, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, and the quartet musicians.