52 Jazz Tracks for 2021 (4. ‘Olhos de Gato’ from Gary Burton – The New Quartet, 1973)

The fourth of Jon Turney’s weekly selectionsof tracks with staying power (introduced HERE) is a Carla Bley tune treated beautifully by vibraphonist Gary Burton and guitarist Mick Goodrick.

Gary Burton The New Quartet

Gary Burton’s virtuosity is widely admired, but his ability to conjure perfect-sounding solos out of the air, apparently inexhaustibly, may still be underrated. And this date has him combining with Mick Goodrick – the guitarist who, of all his guitar partners (there’s quite a list) can match him.

One thing that makes this collection is the tunes. Burton has always had fine taste in composers – here he features Chick Corea, Mike Gibbs and Gordon Beck (twice each), and Keith Jarrett. I’ve settled for the stately rendition of Carla Bley’s Olhos de Gato.

A poetic meditation on her beautiful, slow line sees young rhythm hot shots Abraham Laboriel and Harry Blazer take a back seat, and you can focus on the way Burton and Goodrick are perfectly in tune with the composer, and each other.

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Burton has made records as good as this before and since, and the earlier ones are more historically significant I suppose. But track by track, I don’t know a better one.

LINKS: Listen to the track on Spotify

Read Jon’s post in full on Bristol Jazz Log

Read Jon’s introduction to the ’52 tracks’ series

Week Three: Clifford Jordan ‘The Highest Mountain’

2 replies »

  1. Another one which I played a lot at the time and haven’t gone back to for ages Jon. Thanks for the prompt. Followed it by re-playing one of the first jazz albums I bought – ‘Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett’. Guitarist Sam Brown not quite Mick Goodrick or Pat Metheny but still a nice dessert to your main course.

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