“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Those were the words from jazz superstar Stan Getz to aspiring young vibes player Gary Burton after a dispiriting live audition. He got the job anyway. That led to three tumultuous years in which Burton acted as the band’s music director while also being a de facto handler for Getz, negotiating the mercurial player’s alcohol binges and complicated family life, and traveling around the word from one storied gig to the next.
The Getz years are just a fraction of the new autobiography, “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton” (Berklee Press). Burton’s 70th birthday was in January, and he’s celebrating with the publication of “my one and only book,” an exciting new album, “Guided Tour” (on the Mack Avenue label), and a tour that will bring him to Scullers on Sept. 27 and 28.