Vibraphonist Gary Burton is among the most influential soloists and bandleaders of his generation. An innovator, he is widely recognized for his four-mallet approach that differs widely from any of his predecessors. Burton is self-taught on his instrument; he left the Berklee College of Music to tour with George Shearing, became a session player in Nashville -- he made his debut recording with Chet Atkins in 1961 -- and became a member of StanRead more Getz's quartet from 1964-1966. Burton formed his own quartet in 1967 with Larry Coryell. This electric band used rock & roll's rhythmic palette and dynamic ranges, and paired them with jazz improvisation and extended harmonics. After Coryell, later guitarists would include John Scofield and Pat Metheny. Burton recorded his first solo vibes album in 1971 at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, entitled Alone at Last, and subsequently won his first Grammy. He began a long association with ECM in 1973 and recorded for the label until 1988. During his tenure, he recorded in numerous settings, including duos. Those with bassist Steve Swallow, guitarist Ralph Towner, and pianist Chick Corea stand out. Burton became a professor at Berklee in 1971, eventually becoming its dean of curriculum. He began recording for the GRP label in the late '80s and remained there until 1997 when signed with Concord. In addition to his voluminous jazz catalog, Burton has recorded two albums of Astor Piazzolla's music. His role as a sideman is well documented, too: he's recorded with Astrud Gilberto, Eric Clapton, Keith Jarrett, Bruce Cockburn, Joe Morello, and Esther Phillips, just to name a few. His 21st century recordings such as For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal and Virtuosi have both received critical acclaim. ~ Thom Jurek Read less
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