While covering the Ravenna Jazz Festival in Italy during the late ‘80’s, I witnessed Gary Burton as a special guest with Astor Piazzolla’s band. I was seated next to Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and I commented how impressed I was with Gary’s musicianship. Enrico leaned over and told me that it was only that very afternoon that Gary had first seen those (complex) charts.
Gary Burton is a consummate musician. He has distinguished himself as a top notch educator and a virtuoso vibraphonist. His duo work with pianist Chick Corea, over a period of 40 years, proves he is one of an elite group of musicians who can collaborate with the best. Burton began his professional career at age 17 and went on to work with George Shearing (1963) and Stan Getz (‘64-‘66), before forming his first quartet in 1967.
Gary’s autobiography, Learning to Listen, is due in September and promises to unveil surprising revelations about the jazz life. Burton, who recently turned 70, has surrounded himself with a great band of young musicians, many years his junior, who help him deliver innovative compositions on his new Mack Avenue album , “Guided Tour.” Guitarist Julian Lage, Bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Antonio Sanchez each contribute fresh compositions to a repertoire that is both forward looking, but also firmly tied to pure jazz tradition.
Listen for Gary Burton’s “Guided Tour” on Capital Public Radio’s Excellence In Jazz and JazzStream!