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
Jan 27, 2015
Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. (AP)

A leftist victory in Greece, and anti-austerity pushback across Europe. We’ll ask where this goes.

Jan 27, 2015
As any ant knows, building a reliable team can be hard. (Flickr / Guildmn20)

From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

 
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment