Album:Crystal Silence: The ECM Recordings 1972-79
Gary Burton is an innovator of the four mallet vibraphone as opposed to the two mallet technique used by guys like Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson. Burton emerged in the 60s with Stan Getz and then with his own jazz fusion band. Some of Burton's best recordings were duet albums with pianist Chick Corea led by Crystal Silence in 1972. Burton was born Jan. 23, 1943 in Anderson, IN. He studied at Berklee in Boston and Burton has been on the staff at Berklee since the 70s. He became known to jazz fans for his mid-60s stint with Stan Getz. Then he started his own band in 1967 with guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Steve Swallow. Swallow is still a member of Burton's current band. In 1972, Chick Corea had already been a big part of the popularization of jazz fusion with Miles Davis. Then he formed Return To Forever and signed with ECM Records. After success in the late 60s recording for RCA and Atlantic, Burton also signed with ECM. His first album for ECM was the 1972 album Crystal Silence with Corea. It's just the two of them. This album was so successful that they toured as a duo and they recorded three more albums. The albums were Duet in 1979, In Concert Zurich Oct. 28, 1979 and Lyric Suite for Sextet in 1982. That final album was recorded with a string quartet. You can get all four albums on this 4CD box set from ECM. Falling Grace was written by Burton's long time bassist Steve Swallow. It was first recorded on the 1969 album Paris Encounter featuring violinist Stephane Grappelli. Swallow played bass on the album. Burton also recorded Falling Grace on the 2009 CD Quartet Live featuring guitarist Pat Metheny. Burton and Corea reunited for the 1997 album Native Sense on Concord. Crystal Silence may have been intended as a one off project. But it turned into a very successful long term partnership. Gary Burton still tours and he recently published his autobiography. His latest CD Hommage A Eberhard Weber was released Sept. 2015. It was recorded live in Germany with the SWR Big Band and it marks Burton's return to ECM after leaving in 1986. Here's Gary Burton and Chick Corea performing Falling Grace 1986.