LIVE: Chick Corea & Gary Burton @ Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, 8/26/12

August 30th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet

Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Hilary Scott

This weekend will be the first Labor Day weekend without the traditional, end-of-the-season Tanglewood Jazz Festival, which has been replaced with a string of pop and rock concerts – the return of Train with Andy Grammer and Mat Kearney at 7pm on Friday; Evanescence with Chevelle at 7pm on Saturday; and the Boston Pops Orchestra with Christine Ebersole, Betty Buckley and Michael Feinstein at 2:30pm on Sunday.

But don’t think that the folks at Tanglewood have abandoned their commitment to jazz. Instead of one big festival weekend, this year they spread some top-notch jazz concerts throughout the summer months, hosting individual concerts by Diana Krall, Chris Botti, the Wynton Marsalis Quintet and this past Sunday evening, the sparkling duo Chick Corea and Gary Burton.

It’s been four decades since pianist-composer Chick Corea and vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton released their magnificent debut duet album, “Crystal Silence.” So it may have been safe to assume that their 40th anniversary tour would find the twosome reflecting on the past and cherry-picking nuggets from their back-catalog.

But Corea and Burton didn’t play it safe. And at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, their focus was on the future rather than the past.

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LIVE: Brad Mehldau @ Tanglewood, 8/25/11

August 30th, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg
Brad Mehldau (photo by Hilary Scott)

Brad Mehldau (photo by Hilary Scott)

Brad Mehldau sat sideways on the piano bench, facing the now-almost-dry crowd at Ozawa Hall. He’d just bewitched us with a singular reading of Lennon & McCartney’s “Blackbird,” and was recounting the music that had come previously unannounced. “Before that, we had… umm, we had…”

“‘My Favorite Things,'” some of us offered helpfully.

“‘My Favorite Things,'” he repeated quickly, smiling at his own temporary amnesia. It couldn’t be called a “senior moment”: Although only in his forties, Mehldau is considered one of the greatest keyboardists of his generation. The thing is, his solos tend to turn into one long, winding train of colorful, expressive thought, so since he’s the one “driving” the train, it makes sense that he might not remember all the scenery that had gone past his brainpan’s front window.

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