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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke



Stan Getz ( tenor saxophone ) with collective personnel :
Gary Burton ( vibraphone ); Antonio Carlos Jobim ( piano, guitar ); Luiz Bonfa, Charlie Byrd, Joao Gilberto, Jim Hall ( guitar ); Astrud Gilberto ( vocal ); Gary McFarland ( arranger, conductor ); and others.

Recorded 1962 - 1964

VERVE 589 414-2

1. Corcovado ( Quite Nights of Quiet Stars )
2. Desafinado - instrumental version
3. Chega de Saudade ( No More Blues )
4. The Girl From Ipanema
5. O Morro Nao Tem Vez
6. Vivo Sonhando ( Dreamer )
7. One Note Samba - instrumental version
8. Eu e Voce ( Me and You )
9. Desafinado - vocal version
10. Once Again ( Outra Vez )
11. O Grande Amor
12. So Danco Samba
13. How Insensitive
14. One Note Samba - vocal version

The early 1960s were an amazing time in the evolution of Jazz - Sonny Rollins came down from " The Bridge " and preached his new gospel of hard bop tinged with freedom; John Coltrane was progressing from " My Favourite Things " to " A Love Supreme " and Stan Getz was introducing the Bossa Nova to the world stage. All of these events were to be of great and lasting significance in the grand scheme that is the history of the music.
This welcome compilation is, to quote the sleeve note, " culled from the six bossa nova albums Getz recorded in the 1960s." The music here is all from the pen of Antonio Carlos Jobim - with various collaborators on some of the titles. Getz was certainly one of the best, if not the best, interpreter of these tunes . A few artists have made their own versions which are worthy of comparison, notably Ella Fitzgerald ( "Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook" ) and Joe Henderson ( "Double Rainbow ") but in most cases it is Getz who has given the definitive reading and certainly set the benchmark for all future renditions. His clarity of tone and ability to float effortlessly across the complex samba rhythms and often quite difficult chord progressions gives the music a drive and yet a sense of ease which a lesser performer would find difficult to achieve. Stan Getz had that quality of making the almost impossible seem simple, which is found in only the greatest of players.
All of the favourite bossas are here, sometimes in both vocal and instrumental versions. The other musicians on these recordings are excellent and there are many outstanding contributions from them. The guitar solos of Charlie Byrd spring to mind as do the quirky piano comments from Jobim himself ( " Ipanema "). The broken English singing of Astrid Gilberto adds great charm and character to the proceedings and often seem to spur Getz into his more fiery moments ( " Eu e Voce ") from the wonderful live album (" Getz Au Go Go" ).
There are some lesser known tunes amongst these selections which, nevertheless, provide some of the most interesting moments on the album. Dizzy Gillespie fans will be familiar with " Chega De Saudade "- a long composition which must rival " Begin The Beguine " for its extended form but makes a fine instrumental in the right hands. Also worth mentioning are "O Morro Nao Tem Vez" and "Once Again " into the coda of which Getz manages to work a quote from " Johnny One Note" .
This is significant music in the development of Jazz - the Bossa Nova has become part of the standard repertoire, mainly through these recordings - miss them at your peril !

Dick Stafford


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