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Two Boston Globe reviews for “Learning to Listen”


We’re following the buzz about Learning to Listen.

Sept. 7th, The Boston Globe:

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Those were the words from jazz superstar Stan Getz to aspiring young vibes player Gary Burton after a dispiriting live audition. He got the job anyway. That led to three tumultuous years in which Burton acted as the band’s music director while also being a de facto handler for Getz, negotiating the mercurial player’s alcohol binges and complicated family life, and traveling around the word from one storied gig to the next.

The Getz years are just a fraction of the new autobiography, “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton” (Berklee Press).

Read the full review by Jon Garelick.

Sept. 4th, The Boston Globe:

In the mid-1980s, Gary Burton was just entering middle age, but he’d had experiences as a jazz player to fill several lifetimes. Duke Ellington had treated him with kindness, Milt Jackson with suspicion, Miles Davis with a death threat. He’d endured the mercurial tendencies of Stan Getz, in whose band he played in the 1960s and who, like so many, fought the battle between creative genius and substance abuse.

Burton’s memoir, “Learning to Listen,” tells these stories and situates its author’s own major contributions in jazz’s history.

Read the full review by Siddhartha Mitter


  1. Dave Gerhart

    June 18, 2014 (19:36) Reply

    Come join DrumChattr and our summer percussion book club. This year we will be reading Gary Burton’s new book. It would be great to interview Gary sometime this summer. Please contact me if you are interested. Thanks!

  2. keith jurow

    April 23, 2015 (16:22) Reply

    Funny that I discovered Gary Burton’s music after becoming a fan of Pat Metheny. I have many of Gary’s cds spanning his entire career, but other than looking through the cd inserts, enjoying his incredible music, and catching him in concert on a few occasions, I had no real idea who Gary Burton was beyond that… until this book. It’s an amazing read full of richness and depth, twists and turns, joy and struggle. The history of Gary Burton contains a who’s who list of Jazz legends with stories that may surprise even the most avid of Jazz fans. Gary’s experiences with Getz, Miles, etc. just jump off the page! I couldn’t put it down. Gary is a pioneer, an innovator, a brilliant musician, and an incredible human being.

  3. Paul B. Lynch

    July 9, 2017 (00:08) Reply

    Gary was a school mate and was always a very friendly class mate. He was a great vibist by high school and never. once made any comments of his success in the music world as far as I know. Gary visited my home and played on dad’s old upright piano at my fathers request. Gary was and always will be
    a great person first and muscian second.
    What a privilege to have spent my high school
    Years with a terrific person as Gary Burton.

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