In this episode of Life Stories, I chat with jazz musician Gary Burton about Learning to Listen. Introduced to the vibraphone at the age of six, Burton was already playing professionally by the time he left high school for the Berklee School of Music–with a record deal from RCA covering his tuition and living expenses. We talk about a professional career that’s spanned a half-century–from a sideman to George Shearing and then Stan Getz to leading his own combos, not to mention a classic duet album with Chick Corea. (In fact, this interview was recorded live at the Blue Note—the dressing room, but still!)
We talk about the changes he’s seen in the music industry and the jazz world, and about his status as one of the first “out” gay musicians in jazz… a status that was inadvertently accelerated during his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross. (And, as he notes during our conversation, over the last 19 years it hasn’t done the slightest damage to his ability to get gigs.)
Listen to Life Stories #42: Gary Burton (MP3 file); or download this file directly by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click). You can also subscribe to Life Stories in iTunes, where you can catch up with earlier episodes and be alerted whenever a new one is released.
2 October 2013 | life stories |