“I started playing music when I was 6 years old, and shortly afterward my parents bought me a little record player, so I don’t really remember the very first record I had.
I would get whatever I could. I lived in Indiana and the nearest record store was in another town about an hour away. My father would drive me out there every Saturday, and one of those times when I was about 11 or 12, I happened to buy a Benny Goodman album. And that’s the record that really changed my life. I loved the energy, the improvisation, the excitement.
So then every week I’d look through this one tiny bin of jazz records, hoping that the store had got something new in that week. That was my introduction to jazz and to my whole musical career, in a way.”
(Jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton will lead the Gary Burton Quartet Revisited in concert at the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 27. And be sure to check back on Thursday for our interview with him.)