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

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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.

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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