Pianist Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton first collaborated as a duo in 1972 at the suggestion of ECM label founder and producer Manfred Eicher. Both had substantial jazz résumés, and Corea's supergroup, Return to Forever, was flying high. But the album the pair recorded that year in Oslo, Crystal Silence, became a jazz touchstone and led to many more Corea-Burton duet projects in subsequent years, including the current tour bringing them to the Dakota. Among the album's innovations were playing jazz in a chamber-music context (along with its classical and avant-garde implications), the blossoming of Burton's pianist technique on the vibes (creating extraordinary symmetries and textures with Corea's piano), and Eicher's crystalline production. Also extraordinary to this day is the exquisite interplay between the two, spawning improvisations that anticipate one another's moves while finding fresh avenues of expression. Corea and Burton celebrated the 35th anniversary of the original album by releasing in 2008 The New Crystal Silence, which vividly revisits some of the same material on two discs, one performed with the Sydney Symphony in Australia, the other a live duo set recorded in Norway and the Canary Islands. Last year ECM re-released Crystal Silence as part of a neat four-disc box also containing the Grammy Award-winning Corea-Burton albums Duet (1978) and In Concert, Zurich (1979).
Fridays, Saturdays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: April 16. Continues through April 17, 2010