Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Jazz vibraphone master Gary Burton celebrated his 70th birthday back in January, and he brought his year-long birthday tour to Nippertown for not one, but two stellar concerts with his New Gary Burton Quartet. They headlined Day One of Lake George Arts Project’s annual Jazz at the Lake Festival in Shepard Park on Saturday, September 14, and then less than two weeks later returned for a simply sparkling concert at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany.
Age certainly hasn’t slowed Burton down. If anything, he seems busier than ever. In addition to his touring schedule, the seven-time Grammy Award-winner also just written his autobiography, “Learning to Listen,” and released a new album with his quartet, Guided Tour, both of which were released in August.
With his remarkable four-mallet technique, Burton opened the Massry Center concert with an unaccompanied intro to “Late Night Sunrise” from the band’s 2011 debut album, Common Ground, utilizing his remarkable four-mallet technique to deftly blend single notes and chords within the same phrase.