Originally from Chicago, he began his long career of many recordings and performances in New York´s legendary jazz scene of the 1960’s. He and Bassist Alan Silva contributed to the beginnings of free jazz in New York with the formation of their Free Form Improvisation Ensemble in 1963. He also co-founded the East West Trio with Indian sitarist Jamaluddin Bhartiya and percussionist Daoud Amin in 1973, one of the first World Music groups (and long before they called it that.) Since that time he has travelled all over Europe and the USA with performances and recordings of his compositions and arrangements in many different types of music styles and ensembles. As Burton says it: “Music is or should be universal, without limits.. Borders eventually become boring.. they should be transcended. I like all kinds of music as long as it´s not dull or repetitious or superficial.. as long as it´s creative and from the heart.” His !4 piece New Age Jazz Chorale (1975-78) did concerts and recordings in Europe, years before most other groups were termed as “New Age”. In the last 20 years he’s been busy with his klezmer, Sephardic, Balkan, jazz ensemble Klezmokum, and various jazz solo, trio or quartet combinations. He also has a solo orchestral electronics program, teaches jazz, world music workshops, and lectures. His autobiographical book written over 20 years: “Memoirs of A Musical Pesty-Mystic” appeared in print in 2001 (Cadence Jazz Books). His groups in recent years based in New York include a duet with bassist Mark Dresser, a quartet with trumpeter Roy Campbell, Lou Grassi, and Adam Lane, concerts and recordings on the CIMP label in trio with Ed and George Schuller on bass and drums, and a quintet with the Schuller brothers, Russ Nolan on saxes and flute, Paul Smoker on trumpet. His solo piano CD “Retrospective 1961--2005 came out in January, 2007 on the CIMP label. Burton’s music is featured on more than 50 recordings: records and CD’s.
Burton’s recent group, a quintet: Klez-Edge had a recent CD Release in May, 2008. “Ancestors, Mindreles, NaGila Monsters” is on John Zorn’s Tzadik CD label in New York. Recorded in 2008 and released on the Tzadik label in June, 2009 is a intimate duo CD: “Two Voices in the Desert” with Burton’s long time colleague and Klezmokum clarinetist Perry Robinson. A recent release (September, 2009) on Latham Records is “Groder & Greene”, spontaneous improvisations with Brian Groder, Rob Brown, Adam Lane, Ray Sage, and Burton Greene. A trio recording “Greene Mansions” with Ed and George Schuller, Burton’s recent compositions and arrangements, is being planned for release, in 2010.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."