In Memoirs of a Musical “Pesty Mystic,” printed in 2001 by Cadence Jazz Books, pianist Burton Greene traces, fluently and in detail, his life journey in his birthplace of Chicago to New York City, where, in the early sixties, he seized onto free form music. After his intense involvement with ‘free jazz,’ he sought to regain his focus with Sri Swami Satchidananda. In the late sixties, he went to Amsterdam, where he settled into himself as a pianist and composer and where he now resides. A quintessential storyteller, he writes clearly about the influences that drove him to jazz and how he extended its message. Once he reached Amsterdam, having what he calls “a slow, ‘turtle’ nervous breakdown” became the impetus for realizing the musical sources that feed his muse.
Greene’s convictions begin and end with his consciousness: how his internal self merges with all that is external to it in the omnipresent truth of the universal spirit. His music begins and ends with the fact that he is a solo pianist, the corporal filter for his ego-less Alpha self, where lives “the basic intuitive nature which we all have at birth.”