Friday, August 27, 2010

Baby Steps

What a fascinating clip this is! Remove the images of Burton and Company's Summer of Love getups -- drummer Bob Moses's Nehru nightmare wins the prize -- and you might think you were listening to a particularly hip performance from, say, Red Norvo. In all, it's more a delicious bit of modern chamber jazz than a glimpse of the fusion future. Steve Swallow is still on acoustic bass, Coryell has yet to turn up the juice, Moses is on his best behavior, and Burton remains downright polite. Tame only in relationship to where things would go in a year or two, this band could have stayed in this relatively conventional mode and still have generated interest as a kind of updated Modern Jazz Quartet. But the siren song of fusion was calling, and each of these men had to answer it in his own way.
Still, those are some sweet threads!

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