Gary Burton - vibes; Tiger Okoshi - trumpet; Bob Moses - drums; Steve Swallow - bass
This show was recorded at New York's Bottom Line in 1978, the first of two shows captured for a radio concert series promoting the club. Although it is heavy with excellent solos from vibraphonist Gary Burton and his acclaimed jazz quartet, it is a good example of why many jazz musicians can work together on and off for years with hardly a whisper of the drama and conflict that many rock musicians display.
Never one to be the star, Burton has always let his other three bandmates tackle extensive solos, and these Bottom Line shows are no exception. Gary Burton for years has divided his professional music career with his appointment as a music professor for the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a self-taught vibraphonist, (heavily inspired by the late Lionel Hampton), who has performed not only jazz, but rock and country as well. In addition to leading his own quartet and recording many historic duets (including collaborations with Chick Corea and Larry Coryell), Burton has been an iconic figure on the international jazz scene for nearly four decades. In the late 1960s, he was one of the early pioneers of the jazz-rock fusion movement, and more recently he has been known for his participation in tributes to Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton.
Opening with the perky, "Falling Grace," only about one minute of this song was recorded before it fades out. Next up is the catchy "Careful," which swings hard, despite drummer Bob Moses' feather-light touch. "Careful" is highlighted by a slamming trumpet solo by Tiger Okoshi, which he plays through synthesized outboard effect. Unfortunately, that also fades before the song ends, and before what appears to be a bass solo by Steve Swallow. "Coral" follows with its dream-like ambience, reminiscent of something the late Chet Baker might have played. Burton does an extensive vibes solo on "Desert Air," then leads the band into the Brazilian flavored, "Sweet Rain." Bassist Swallow contributes "Radio" which closes the show, but not before giving ample time for Burton on vibes and Okoshi on trumpet to solo extensively.