Master of four-mallet and Fusion innovator Gary Burton this weekend – one of his many collaborations with guitarist Larry Coryell in the 1960s, in this performance which was part of the Newport Jazz Festival, overseas edition – recorded at the House of Culture in Helsinki on November 11, 1967 – and preserved for posterity by YLE Radio.
Gary Burton has had a long and distinguished career, in addition to being one of the primary movers in the Jazz-Fusion genre, Burton was part of that new generation of Jazz artists who revolutionized the idiom and broadened the spectrum and the audience in the process.
Although Burton was active since 1960, it was the later 60s where his popularity widened and took off. Maybe it was because his appearance bore no resemblance to what was previously acknowledged as “the Cool Jazz look”. Burton sported long hair, a handlebar mustache and love-beads and looked more like a member of a Rock band than a Jazz group. But appearances are deceptive, and once you opened the dust-jacket of Lofty Fake Anagram (his 9th album for RCA), it was a whole different story. But because music in general was up for grabs and discovery, discovering Gary Burton this way made perfect sense. I know – it happened to me. And it was from taking a chance on Lofty Fake Anagram that I went on the journey of discovery and became a Gary Burton fan in the process.
That was one of the great things about listening to music in the 60s – the playing field was huge and it was okay to listen to it all.
At any rate – this is Gary Burton during that period – he is joined, not only by Larry Coryell on guitar but also Steve Swallow on bass and Bob Moses on drums.
I would really urge you to check this concert out, if you have any hesitations. Burton is an important figure in Jazz – well, contemporary music in general. Luckily, he’s still with us and gigging regularly. Knowing about him will enhance your musical world and contribute to your expanded horizons, if he hasn’t already (in some unconscious way).
Crank it up and enjoy.
And while you’re digging the tunes – please make your contribution to Past Daily’s Spring Fundraiser this week. We only do this a couple times a year and we’re asking for your support – if you like what you hear, then please contribute what you can to keep us here. It doesn’t take a lot – any contribution works wonders for us. It’s Tax Deductible and every penny goes to maintaining the website as well as preserving and digitizing the thousands of hours of rare recordings, broadcasts, news, interviews and Popular Culture you hear here every day. And all you have to do is click on the link in the box below – or click on the Fractured Atlas logo to the right of this page and chip in what you can. It means the world to us – and it means bringing the world to you.