On August 11 of last year, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Jack White and his band at their Portland, Oregon concert after the publication of my Boarding House Reach review. White read my review, loved it, and through his tour manager and a few other connections, invited my family backstage. We got to stand right behind the sound engineers and lighting controllers, and I even got to view the show from the side of the stage next to White’s guitar technician.
This recently released 5 LP Mack Avenue Records box set celebrates Gary Burton’s incredible six decades of outstanding music making, organized chronologically and by label, beginning with his earliest and arguably best sounding recordings on the RCA Victor label where he began recording, first as a sideman, during the summer between high school and his enrollment at The Berklee College of Music. The Indiana native was first “discovered” by “Yakety” saxophonist Boots Randolph at an Evansville, Indiana club and made his way to RCA through Chet Atkins and fellow guitarist Hank Garland.
Joan Baez recorded this Vanguard debut in 1960 at age 19. With her impossibly high and pure quavering voice and matching pristine finger picking guitar, she and this album created a sensation that helped shift the “folk-revival” back to authenticity from the commerciality into which it had drifted. Though while she sounded like a barefoot waif recently arrived from the Appalachian mountains, she was born on Staten Island. Her Mexico-born father who grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a minister, was a Stanford PhD credited with co-inventing the X-ray microscope.