(b. 23 January 1943) is my favorite
. He and Bobby Hutcherson
are the only two vibraphonists to emerge from the
1960's with widespread recognition
in the jazz
scene. Burton took the history of the vibraphone
in jazz which was spun by Lionel Hampton
, and developed a voice
of his own.
Part of Burton's brilliance was his development
of a four-mallet technique -- two mallets in each hand,
one between the thumb and forefinger, the other between
two middle fingers. In this manner one could play
intervals with one hand or a chord with two, allowing
the vibes to comp the ensemble much as a piano
or guitar can.
Gary Burton was born and raised in Indiana.
He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston,
Massachucetts where he would later find himself
permanently as a faculty member. Many, many
musicians emerging from Berklee today have
perfected their craft under Burton's tutelage.
Burton's most notable musical collaborations
(in my mind, anyway) have been with pianists
Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea, guitarists
Pat Metheny and Ralph Towner, and bassist
Steve Swallow. Of course Burton has many albums
as a leader of the Gary Burton Quartet.