90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Life Behind The Vibes: Jazz Musician Gary Burton Looks Back

Jazz vibraphone great Gary Burton joins us, on a unique instrument and an unusual life.

Jazzman Gary Burton performs with vibraphone during his concert with Makoto Ozone at the Stravinski hall stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, on Monday, July 15, 2002. (AP)

Jazzman Gary Burton performs with vibraphone during his concert with Makoto Ozone at the Stravinski hall stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, on Monday, July 15, 2002. (AP)

Gary Burton is a jazz great on the vibes – the vibraphone.  Seven-time Grammy winner.  Right there with Stan Getz and Chick Corea. A pioneer in fusion jazz — rock and jazz and his flying four mallets on the vibes.  He’s an honored teacher and a jazz festival leading light.  But all that is only part of the story.  At 70, jazz man Gary Burton is telling the rest.  His start in small-town Indiana.  His personal journey as an unannounced gay man in a macho jazz world.  Up next On Point:  the whole story, with jazz great, vibes man, Gary Burton.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gary Burton, seven-time Grammy Award-winner, composer, educator and pioneer of the jazz vibraphone and fusion jazz; his latest album, with The New Gary Burton Quartet, is “Guided Tour.” Also author of a new autobiography, “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg Businessweek: Gary Burton Recalls Secret Gay Life, Drunken Stan Getz —  “My original idea was to get three guitar players, but it turned out that everyone I asked except Larry Coryell wasn’t available. John Scofield wasn’t available, Metheny wasn’t available. So I picked players such as (Cuban trumpeter) Arturo Sandoval. I’m on his Grammy-winning record this year. Terence Blanchard is a trumpeter who has always interested me. He’s very big in jazz education. I’ve gotten to know him, but we’ve never played together, so it’s a chance to play and get to know him better.”

USA Today: Jazz Great Gary Burton: A Lifetime Learning to Listen — “Burton played with jazz giants Stan Getz and George Shearing before forming the Gary Burton Quartet, a groundbreaking unit that fused jazz, rock and country styles. Through the years, Burton, 70, has gathered seven Grammy awards and released more than 60 albums, collaborating with musicians including pianist Chick Corea, guitarist Pat Metheny, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and tango great Astor Piazzolla. His current band, the New Gary Burton Quartet, features guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Antonio Sanchez and released its second album, ‘Guided Tour,’ in August.”

All About Jazz: The New Gary Burton Quartet: Guided Tour –  “Like ‘Common Ground,’ Burton’s new quartet also draws mostly on its own compositional acumen, with only two of its ten tracks culled from external sources. One, an old chestnut, Michel Legrand’s collaboration with Johnny Mercer, “Once Upon a Summertime,” opens as a dark, rubato tone poem brimming with implication that is ultimately (and briefly) delivered upon when the quartet moves into straight time for brief but beautifully constructed solos from both Lage and Burton, before returning to the out-of-time intro where, once again, Lage layers the familiar melody over an ethereal bed of vibes, Colley’s soft arco, Sanchez’s swelling cymbal work and the guitarist’s own overdubbed, finger-picked voicings.”

Excerpt of “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton” by Gary Burton

Playlist

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 21, 2015
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., third right, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, leading a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third left, at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. (AP)

TPP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is headed onto the fast track for a vote now. We’ll look at the big trade-pact and big debate around it.

Apr 21, 2015
The cover of Kate Boldick's new book, "Spinster: Making A Life Of One's Own." (Crown Publishing)

With over 50% of American women unmarried— we’ll look at the push to reclaim the word “spinster” – to be single and proud of it.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 20, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

 
Apr 20, 2015
A member of a bomb squad pulls something off of a small helicopter and throws it after a man landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.  A Florida postal carrier named Doug Hughes took responsibility for the stunt on a website where he said he was delivering letters to all 535 members of Congress in order to draw attention to campaign finance corruption. (AP)

We’ll take up the gyrocopter pilot’s complaint. Big money politics in America, on the road to 2016. And what to do about it.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments
 
Parents Speak Out On Autism Care ‘Cliff’
Thursday, Apr 16, 2015

Stories of autism care for adults from our callers and, maybe, from you, too.

More »
4 Comments