Gary Burton

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Gary Burton

Gary Burton (born January 23, 1943 in Anderson , Indiana ) is an American jazz vibraphonist .

life and work

Gary Burton began playing the piano at the age of six and deepened his lessons in high school . In college he studied piano and composition . Gary Burton learned the vibraphone as an autodidact , developing playing with four mallets. In 1958 he attended a workshop held by Stan Kenton at Indiana University ; while he played in a student band led by John LaPorta . In 1960 he had his first engagement in Nashville . He made his record debut in 1961 on the album Jazz Winds from a New Direction , which Hank Garland recorded for Columbia Records , on which the 17-year-old vibraphonist, who was also involved in the composition Three, Four, the Blues , played.

In 1961 he released his first record under his own name, New Vibe Man In Town with Gene Cherico and Joe Morello . Gary Burton later starred with George Shearing and Stan Getz , with whom he appeared in the films The Hanged Man and Get Yourself A College Girl . Then he formed a quartet with Steve Swallow , Larry Coryell and Bob Moses . One of the best recordings from this period is A Genuine Tong Funeral , a masterpiece by Carla Bley that was recorded in 1967 by the Jazz Composer's Orchestra and Burton's Quartet.

Over the next ten years, Burton played with various guitarists (including Jerry Hahn , Sam T. Brown and Pat Metheny ) and bassists (including Eberhard Weber and Steve Swallow) and developed his style further.

For the title Alone At Last , Burton received a 1973 Grammy for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist . Since this year his records have been released by the ECM label . The records Crystal Silence (1972) and Duet (1979) recorded with Chick Corea received several awards.

From 1980, Gary Burton continued to develop, and among other things went on excursions into the tango, for example with the record Astor Piazzolla Reunion: A Tango Excursion. The pianist Makoto Ozone was a regular partner .

He teaches at Berklee College of Music and has also served in college leadership roles.

Burton was married twice and had two children from 1975 to 1984 from his second marriage to Catherine Goldwyn, a granddaughter of Samuel Goldwyn . He had a homosexual relationship in the 1980s and came out in a radio interview in 1996. In 2013 he married his long-time partner Jonathan Chong.

In 2017, Gary Burton announced that he would end his music career after an upcoming US tour with Makoto Ozone. In November 2018, a 5x vinyl box Take Another Look: A Career Retrospective (Mack Avenue) was released, which includes major label material from 1961–2012.


  • Gary Burton: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton. To Autobiography , Berklee Press 2013

Discography (selection)

  • Who is Gary Burton? (RCA, 1962)
  • 3 in Jazz (RCA, 1963)
  • Something's Coming (RCA, 1963)
  • The Groovy Sound of Music (RCA, 1964)
  • The Time Machine (RCA, 1966)
  • Lofty Fake Anagram (RCA, 1967)
  • Duster (1967)
  • A Genuine Tong Funeral (1968)
  • Gary Burton Quartet in Concert Live (RCA, 1968)
  • Paris Encounter (1969)
  • Throb (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1970)
  • Gary Burton & Keith Jarrett (Atlantic, 1971)
  • Alone at Last (Atlantic, 1971)
  • Crystal Silence (1972) with Chick Corea
  • The New Quartet (1973)
  • Ring (1974)
  • Dreams So Real (1975)
  • Passengers (1977)
  • Duet (1979)
  • Real Life Hits (1985)
  • Whiz Kids (1987)
  • Times Like These (1988)
  • Reunion (1989)
  • Right Time, Right Place ( GNP Crescendo , 1990)
  • Cool Nights (GRP, 1991)
  • Six Pack (GRP, 1992)
  • It's Another Day (GRP, 1993)
  • Face to Face (GRP, 1994)
  • Live in Cannes (Jazz World, 1996)
  • Ástor Piazzolla Reunion: A Tango Excursion ( Concord Jazz , 1996)
  • Native Sense - The New Duets (Concord Jazz, 1997)
  • Like Minds with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes and Dave Holland (1998)
  • Libertango: The Music of Ástor Piazzolla (Concord Jazz, 2000)
  • For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal (Concord Jazz, 2001)
  • Music of Duke Ellington (LRC Ltd, 2003)
  • Generations (2004) with Julian Lage
  • Next Generation (2005)
  • The New Crystal Silence (Concord Jazz, 2008) with Chick Corea; grammy
  • Quartet Live! (Concord Jazz, 2009) with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow and Antonio Sánchez
  • Common Ground (Mack Avenue Records, 2011) The New Gary Burton Quartet
  • Hot House (Concord Jazz, 2012) with Chick Corea

Web links

Commons : Gary Burton  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Interview with Jazzwax (2010) (accessed July 27, 2010)
  2. James Gavin Homophobia in Jazz , Jazz Times 2001
  3. Gary Burton's Jazz Journey , 2013 Interview,
  4. Announcement by Gary Burton on his website ( memento of the original from July 17, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , as seen on February 28, 2017 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. A review of the five-disc career retrospective from the vibraphonist , Jazztimes, February 16, 2019, accessed July 20, 2019