“Whenever I start a new group, I often wonder how things will work, to see if the musicians will enjoy playing together and are ready to take the music to a higher level. With the new band, I’m thrilled. It’s proving to be one of the standout bands of my career and has already quickly developed its own identity.” —Gary Burton
Jazz legend Gary Burton has played in a lot of bands, most notably with Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. The four-mallet vibraphone specialist of world renown enjoys collaborations of every form. But this time, with his new quartet – a form he keeps returning to – Burton may have found his nirvana.
Naturally, Burton culled together a band of individual musicians capable of filling stadiums on their own, with their own flair, two of them (the astounding Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez and wunderkind guitarist Julian Lage) very familiar colleagues. The third, Sanchez’s recommended bassist, Scott Colley, whom Burton learned early on to greatly appreciate.
The quartet tested its sea legs at the renowned 2010 Red Sea Jazz Festival, to much acclaim, then New York City’s the Blue Note, before eventually going into the recording studio for “Common Ground.” “Common Ground,” a recording project on the Mack Avenue record label—released June 7th of this year, reflected each member of the quartet’s creative ideas and styles, which seamlessly blended with Gary Burton’s refined, artful, intricate classicism.
Whether it’s “Last Snow,” a delicate, curvy acoustic showmanship of easygoing flow, or the more fast-moving, funky romp through an imaginary cityscape in “Common Ground,” the quartet’s latest album doesn’t fail to disappoint the listener, with ever-changing musical explorations.
This configuration with these particular musicians hits all the right notes with Burton. “Since my very first group in 1967, I can count maybe three times that one of my groups over the years clicked so perfectly,” Burton explained. “Whenever I start a new group, I often wonder how things will work, to see if the musicians will enjoy playing together and are ready to take the music to a higher level. With the new band, I’m thrilled. It’s proving to be one of the standout bands of my career and has already quickly developed its own identity.”
The New Gary Burton Quartet will hit all the hot spots and festivals in North America in a 12-city tour this fall, including the upcoming Labor Day Weekend-Whistler Jazz Festival and the September 5th Detroit Jazz Festival appearance. Witness for yourself just why Burton’s so reinvigorated about this new quartet.