Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Gary Burton - 1976-03-04, Greenwood Inn, Olympia, WA

An All-Star ECM Lineup...

Throughout the 70s, Gary Burton did as much as anyone to popularize Carla Bley's music. Her tunes weren't just scattered throughout his live sets, but Burton did an entire album of them: Dreams So Real. I mention it because, for me, it's his high-water mark from the most fruitful period of his career.

Indeed, the mid-70s has Burton taking several interesting musicians into his band and making some compelling music. Not exactly fusion, but definitely something more rhythmic than the more free stuff other ECM groups were playing at the time. And with Bley's music at the centre of his setlists, he made the most of his gigs.

This one come from a FM broadcast of a show in Olympia, Washington. There's one of the all-time 70s ECM lineups here: both Pat Metheny and Mick Goodrick on guitar, both Steve Swallow and Eberhard Weber on bass and Bob Moses on drums. And Burton, too, naturally. It opens with a nice medley: "Sea Journey > Eyes of the Cat," which has everyone taking some turns at the helm, Moses going nuts on his kit, and a nice bass solo as something of a segue. The version of "Eyes of the Cat" might be one of my personal fave moments of any Burton gig: they work themselves up into a nice groove, and there's a great bass solo. How often does one say that?

And that's just the first 20 minutes. Elsewhere, Metheny takes charge on "B&G (Midwestern Night's Dream)," and Burton gets some alone time on "I'm Your Pal." It's a nice show throughout, with generally good sound. There's some hiss, and the stage banter is a little distant, but the music itself comes through nicely, with Burton's vibes especially getting a nice sense of ambience. I've heard shows where they sound stale and harsh, but it's not the case here.


M. Milner said...

Burton '76:http://www.mediafire.com/file/7469sa2i2wjbkm2/1976-03-04%252C_Greenwood_Inn%252C_Olympia%252C_WA.zip/file

Scraps said...

Oooh, thank you very much!