Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Review: Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013

A jumbo block party in the midst of Boston

BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Berklee P Funk Ensemble, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Bobby Watson, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Christian Scott, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Matt Savage, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Meshell Ndegeocello, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Mike Tucker, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013
Will Calhoun, BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013

The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival commenced at a club this year, with Scullers playing host to two Friday sets by the New Gary Burton Quartet (two more would follow the next night). It was the second BeanTown appearance in three years by this all-star band-Burton on vibraphone, Julian Lage on guitar, Scott Colley on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums-but in 2011 they had closed out the festival with a performance at the much larger Berklee Performance Center. This time, as last, they were promoting a new album (Guided Tour is the title of this one), but this visit-touted as part of Burton’s 70th-birthday tour was also a celebration of the leader’s just-published autobiography, Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton.

The intimacy of the club venue was a treat for those catching the group there. The audience could hear and see Burton’s four-mallet technique up close, as well as Lage’s phenomenal fretwork, Colley putting body English into his energetic bass lines and Sanchez’s rich dynamism at the kit. But a wider audience got the chance to hear the music as well, Friday’s second set being broadcast live on WGBH-FM, hosted by Eric Jackson.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published