Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gary Burton's Top 10 Jazz Albums

6 decades of breaking ground might be an apt description of the artistry and career of Gary Burton. Here's some things you may or may not know. The pianistic, four-mallet playing technique is pretty much his creation. After 3 years with Stan Getz he intrinsically pioneered jazz-rock in the 60's ("Duster" with Larry Coryell, Roy Haynes and Steve Swallow is considered by many to be the first important album of the genre, if not the actual first). He was the youngest recipient of Downbeat's Jazzman of the Year (1968). In 1971 he turned the risky venture of a solo vibes concert at the Montreaux Jazz Festival into a show stopper and his first Grammy award. In the 70's he continued taking chances with his "New Quartet" and duo albums including the extremely popular and ongoing collaborations with Chick Corea. By 1985 he was Dean of Curriculum at Berklee and in 1996 he was appointed Executive Vice President. Along with jazz, Gary ventured into Tango and even classical with long-time collaborator pianist Makoto Ozone - winning a Grammy in each genre around the millenium mark. Last year his newest quartet released "Common Ground" on Mack Ave records, and this year saw "Hot House" - another amazing duo with Chick Corea. He's just completed his own Online Improvisation Course, and most recently - the Downbeat Readers Poll just crowned him the best vibes player of 2012. And that's the short version.

Almost unbelievably - Mr. Burton took time out of his intense schedule to contribute to our Top 50 Jazz Albums of All Time poll, so we have the remarkable opportunity to see a list of some of the music that pleases and inspires a master creator and craftsman. A great list & what a treat!

"Here are ten of my favorite records, not sure if I could narrow it down to my 10 best, but I would readily recommend any of these for their lasting qualities."

 1. (Anything by Miles and Gil, but let's go with) PORGY AND BESS - Miles Davis/Gil Evans "I consider the entire set of Miles and Gil records to be one of the great achievements in recorded jazz.  Incredible writing and playing, and a very original concept. Those records changed the nature of large ensemble jazz for all time."

2. PORTRAITS IN JAZZ - Bill Evans Trio

3. EXPLORATIONS - Bill Evans Trio
"Bill Evans influenced practically every young musician coming up in the 60s, especially the piano players, of course."

4. RELAXIN' - Miles Davis Quintet

5. NEWK'S TIME - Sonny Rollins

6. THE BRIDGE - Sonny Rollins

7. BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH - Oliver Nelson "Oliver Nelson's signature recording was innovative, and brought together an amazing group of major players. Definitely a must-have record."

8. KIND OF BLUE - Miles Davis "Miles Davis, generally speaking, was the most influential jazz musician of the past fifty years, introducing a host of majorly talented players through his bands, and pretty much reshaping the current style of jazz every decade (BIRTH OF THE COOL'49, KIND OF BLUE '59, BITCHES BREW '69)."

9. NOW HE SINGS, NOW HE SOBS - Chick Corea

10. GETZ AND J.J. AT THE OPERA HOUSE - Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson

A thousand thanks to Gary for his insights and list, making our poll that much more awesome and fun! You can visit Gary's website here and pick up any of his latest releases wherever jazz is sold. Below are some links for your convenience. Thanks to all the many artists who contributed and help to make the jazz scene throughout Florida flourish. And thanks to YOU for visiting! - PC Jazz

No comments:

Post a Comment