Category: Burton Gary

Four part JazzWax interview with Gary Burton

garyBurtonToday I’m linking to a four part interview from Marc Myers Jazzwax with the great innovator Gary Burton. Along with being a fusion pioneer, he helped popularize the four mallet playing technique on the vibes and championed the idea of the jazz duet (most recently with Chick Corea on 2012’s Hot House). From the interview:

JW: What was it like working with Shearing?
GB: It was an interesting challenge and experience for me. George did not believe in lengthy solos. Everyone got to play one chorus on any song. You had about 30 seconds to solo.

JW: Did that become a problem?
GB: For me, coming from my student days of five-minute solos, I didn’t know how to do this. At first I tried to play a million things. But that didn’t work too well. Then I became philosophical about it, playing smaller chunks rather than long stretches. With George, I learned how to get into a solo immediately and pace it.

Click here to read JazzWax interview with Gary Burton: Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four

—Peter Blasevick

Four Chick Corea Interviews with Les Tomkins plus Gary Burton!

Chick Corea keeps putting out great music; his latest duo recording with Gary Burton is testament to that! Here are four interviews with the pianist, all between 1972 and 1982. The final one, from 1982, is actually a joint interview with longtime collaborator Burton, and in it he discusses preparing for a tour together:

How much actual preparation do you need before embarking on a concert tour together?

The groundwork has already been laid in the past year since we’ve developed our way of working together. The only additional preparation we ever do is finding music to play; I compose, we find other compositions to do, and we work them into the repertoire by going over them once or twice, then finding where to drop the new piece into the performance. Except the next album project we have in mind is going to take quite a bit of preparation, actually, because I’m going to write a piece for Gary and myself with a string quartet as well. So the composing will be a process, and then us looking at the music, getting accustomed to it, and seeing how to make it work with the strings will be a full process in itself. I’m looking forward to that. The music will be sort of like a double concerto idea, where there’s two soloists and an orchestra that’s made up of four strings.

Click here to read Four Chick Corea Interviews with Les Tomkins plus Gary Burton!