All That Jazz
This is the first installment of what will (hopefully) become a fairly regular weekend feature on Dog Gone Blog. The title for the feature may seem obvious, but it really comes from something that was a major part of my childhood. As a youngster, riding around in my father’s car we would always have great music on the stereo, and one of my favorite things to hear was always Curtis Bailey’s jazz show on CKLN-FM 88.1 (Ryerson University Radio), called ‘All That Jazz.’
Every Saturday afternoon, Curtis would get on the air and spill his incredible knowledge of jazz over the radio waves with his trademark growl that only the best radio hosts possess (i.e. Wolfman Jack). He was often referred to as an “encyclopedia of jazz,” and was rumored to have amassed the largest record collection in all of Toronto. For years he volunteered his time on this college radio station, and could often be found lurking in the corners of Toronto’s jazz clubs. This feature is dedicated to Curtis and his incredible radio show.
For this first installment, I wanted to share something special—something Curtis would have liked—so I went into my vinyl collection and pulled out one of my favorites, The Gary Burton Quintet’s (with Eberhard Weber) Ring from 1974 on ECM Records. For those of you who don’t know, Gary Burton is a vibes virtuoso who sprang onto the scene in the early ’60′s and is known as one of the grandmasters of his craft.
While often overlooked, Burton was instrumental in the rise of electric jazz in the late 1960′s. Using a progressive, and often psychedelic approach, Burton ventured into various genres of music, recording with artists such as Stan Getz, Hank Garland and even Chet Atkins.
For Ring, Burton assembled an all-star cast with a unique mix of instruments that included Bob Moses (drums), twin electric basses played by Steve Swallow and Eberhard Weber, and twin electric guitars played by Mick Goodrick and a little known guitarist, at the time, named Pat Metheny (who was just 20 years old).
I’ve cut the entire A Side for your listening enjoyment, which you can stream below. Please excuse the “wooshing” at the very beginning—it’s quite an old record.
As Curtis Bailey would have said “Here’s Gary Burton’s Ring: Side A on ‘All That Jazz.’”