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Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton: An Autobiography - Buy now from amazon.com
In Learning to Listen, Gary Burton shares his fifty years of experiences at the top of the jazz scene. A seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner, Burton made his first recordings at age seventeen, has toured and recorded with a who’s who of famous jazz names, and is one of only a few openly gay musicians in jazz. Burton is a true innovator, both as a performer and an educator. His autobiography is one of the most personal and insightful jazz books ever written.

Read what Gary has to say about writing the book.

What people have to say about LEARNING TO LISTEN:

“Great musicians are no respecters of borders; they cross them at will, and in doing so define their own territory. Gary Burton’s career has spanned that porous borderland between jazz and rock music, between the strictures of academia and the spontaneity of live performance. It has been a fascinating journey through the great plains of music towards the high plateaux of the realized self. Bravo!”

—Sting

“Gary Burton’s life and works have paralleled the twists and turns of a wild half-century of cultural upheaval and transition from a vantage point that is singularly fascinating and unique. Always one of the most fluent and articulate communicators of complexity and nuance as a musician, in this captivating autobiography, Gary takes us through a lifetime lived on the front lines of a shifting and evolving world with a clarity and focus that is worthy of his narrative skills as one of the greatest jazz soloists of his time.”

—Pat Metheny

“Gary Burton’s life story is the finest autobiography of a musician I’ve read yet. Not only do we get to know Gary Burton, but we are able to realize his deep insight into musicians with whom he has worked, such as Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and many others.”

—George Wein

“… By turns funny and poignant, graceful and down to earth, …”  Read the full article.

—Miami Herald

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The New York Times interview with Gary, “The Jazzman With a Debt to Nashville”

The New York Times interview with Gary: “The Jazzman With a Debt to Nashville”SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. — There’s a moment in “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton,” an autobiography due out on Sept. 3 from Berklee Press, that depicts the author’s earliest encounter with Miles Davis. It happened at a summer jazz festival in Mr. Burton’s home state, Indiana, and probably could have gone a little better.

The year was 1959. Mr. Burton was 16, a precocious vibraphonist enrolled in the first Stan Kenton Jazz Camp. Davis was playing the festival with his sextet, which had just made the album “Kind of Blue.” “As he paced around on the grass behind the stage,” Mr. Burton writes, “I snapped his photo with my Brownie camera, flashing the bulb in his face, to which he simply replied, sarcastically, ‘Thanks, kid.’ ”

It’s only a passing exchange in the book, but it captures something essential about Mr. Burton.… Read the full article.

—The New York Times

Comments.

  1. jr mcnalis

    August 27, 2013 (15:40) Reply

    I was in southern California in the 50′s and 60′ exposed to the wonderful latin/afro Cuban/ jazz explosion. I have a variety of LPs with terrific vibes. Has Mr. Burton ever played with René Touzet, Eddie Cano or some of the other latin jazz stars at the time.
    Unfortunately the vibes was not identified on some of my albums and many rumors often led to “Gary Burton”.
    Possible?

  2. Rod Stasick

    August 27, 2013 (19:04) Reply

    Thank you very much for the signed copy of your book.
    I took lessons from you in the early 70′s when I was just
    barely a teenager whenever you would have your “intensives”
    in Dallas at B & S Percussion center. This means a lot to me!

  3. Tim

    September 11, 2013 (12:03) Reply

    Gary – Thanks for taking the “pen to paper” plunge, and attempting to record your amazing life and experiences for us to share. I’m devouring the book as we speak….I’m up to the Getz era. Who knew!

    Anyways, your insights into the business and your beautiful and unique approach to listening/practicing/playing have already been quite inspirational.

    Cheers

  4. Bob

    December 7, 2013 (16:11) Reply

    Gary, have followed your music since the ’70s and seen you many times. This book was a fabulous trip through jazz history, your path, and the times in which we have lived. As a lifelong semi-pro musician I particularly loved the chapter describing musicians in general and your own creative process. So much so that I told my wife of 29 years she needs to read it to understand me even better! Keep making beautiful music, enjoying life, love, and the recognition you so well deserve. Bob

  5. John Stephens

    April 1, 2014 (17:02) Reply

    I didn’t know of this book until reading about it here. I’ll definitely be buying it – his music has meant a lot to me for at least 45 years now, and after all that time, I’m still awed that someone can do what he does.

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