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’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.