Oct 16, 2010
Gary Burton is back in New York next week, bringing his New Quartet into the Blue Note for a week long run. I spoke to the noted Vibes player while he was preparing material for the North American debut of the band, which includes his latest guitar wunderkind Julian Lage, bassist Scott Calley, and drummer Antonio Sanchez, with whom Burton toured the world in his recent Quartet Revisited foray. The New Quartet shows every sign of being one of the strongest Burton has led, playing mostly new material with the energy and excitement that new enterprises so often bring.
After fifty years of playing and recording, Burton is still, as he says “a happy camper”. In addition to the new group, which will tour Europe after the New York stand and then record, he plans reunions with old partner Chick Corea in the Spring of 2011, and another tour with Pat Metheny in 2012.
Click here to listen to the interview, including musical selections from Burton and his band members including:
Gary Burton – “First Impression” from Generations. Lage’s first CD as a bandleader earned him a Grammy Nomination in 2009, Here he is debuting with Burton, and contributing this composition. The band is Burton on vibes, Lage on guitar, Makoto Ozone on piano, James Genus on bass and Clarence Penn on drums.
Gary Burton – “Get Up and Go” from Next Generation, Lage recorded with Burton’s quintet in 2004 and 2005, and this CD was their finest effort. Recorded with pianist Vedem Neselovsky, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer James Williams, the music is inspired and always interesting, as Burton introduces young talent in his inimitable manner.
Gary Burton and Chick Corea – “Bud Powell” from The New Crystal Silence. Burton’s almost symbiotic relationship with Chick Corea has lasted nearly forty years. It’s rare that two individuals, giants on their individual instruments, will put aside egos and scheduling issues in order to make stirring music. And yet, their most recent recording, is as vibrant and stimulating as any from their past.
Gary Burton – “Syndrome” from Quartet Live. Burton’s reunion with Pat Metheny and bassist Steve Swallow was a major festival draw over the past two years. With Antonio Sanchez as drummer, the band explored a number of songs that Burton was given over the years by writers like Carla Bley, Corea, and Keith Jarrett. This Bley composition shows the band at their peak.