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


'The Definitive Stan Getz'

Verve Blue Note
589 950-2



Stan Getz plays on all the tracks:
1. Early Autumn (Woody Herman Orchestra, 1948)
2. Parker 51 (Al Haig - Piano, Jimmy Raney - Guitar, Teddy Kotick - Bass, Tiny Khan - Drums, 1952)
3. Moonlight In Vermont (Johhny Smith - Guitar, Sanford Gold - Piano, Eddie Safranski - Bass, Don Lamond - Drums, 1952)
4. East Of The Sun (Conte Candoli - Trumpet, Lou Levy - Piano, Leroy Vinnegar - Bass, Shelley Manne - Drums, 1955)
5. Tour's End (Oscar Peterson - Piano, Herb Ellis - Guitar, Ray Brown - Bass, 1957)
6. Once Upon A Time (Eddie Sauter Orchestra, 1961)
7. Desafinado (João Gilberto - Guitar & Vocal, Antonio Carlos Jobim - Piano, Tommy Williams - Bass, Milton Banana - Drums, 1963)
8. The Girl From Ipanema (João Gilberto - Guitar & Vocal, Antonio Carlos Jobim - Piano, Tommy Williams - Bass, Milton Banana - Drums, Astrud Gilberto - Vocal, 1963)
9. Summertime (Gary Burton- Vibraphone, Gene Cherico - Bass, Joe Hunt - Drums, 1964)
10. Litha (Chick Corea - Piano, Ron Carter - Bass, Grady Tate - Drums, 1967)
11. Blood Count (Kenny Barron - Piano, Rufus Reid - Bass, Victor Lewis - Drums, 1987)
12. Night And Day (Kenny Barron - Piano, 1991)

Woody Herman always led exciting bands and used many of the finest musicians of the day - one of his best was formed in 1948. In the saxophone section was twenty-one year old Stan Getz who eventually would be acclaimed as one of the 'jazz elite' by his peers and jazz fans throughout the world. Although by then he had already played with Jack Teagarden and Stan Kenton, there is one particular track on the LP 'Keeper of the Flame' recorded by Woody in 1948 that brought the name Getz to the fore as a tenor player with an exceptional tone and someone who could interpret a melody. When the record was released 'Early Autumn' featuring the seductive and expressive tenor sound of Getz was an immediate hit - his career had taken off. His future playing predominantly concentrated on playing with small groups many of which he led himself. When 'Parker 51' was released he was well established and besides his unique sound he was developing his phrasing and technique - both of which he worked on throughout his career.

By the time 'Tour's End,' a Getz composition, was recorded he was building up complex phrases and repeating or extending them with a flourish of notes. His runs were often over several bars, or alternatively, he relied on a minimum of notes to put across an idea at the same time swinging like mad. He couldn't have been in better company than here with the Oscar Peterson Trio. He was a master of the ballad and 'Moonlight In Vermont' reflects exactly what alerted people to him in the first place. Included as Tracks 7 & 8 are part of his excursions into the music of Brazil and especially that of Antonio Carlos Jobim. 'Desafinado' and 'The Girl From Ipanema' were 'smash hits' both of which some forty years later still have immense appeal.

Eddie Sauter's 'Once Upon A Time' is part of the seven-part suite for saxophone written after a request by Getz. It takes a brave man to tackle this kind of material but Getz takes it in his stride displaying all the facets of his experience.

If one was only familiar with his earlier recordings it would be easy to wonder how he could progress further, but progress he did and we are fortunate to have many recordings made throughout his career building up to the last and, in the opinion of many, finest years. The climax is evident on 'Night and Day' that is taken from the CD set 'People Time.' It was recorded three months prior to Getz's death and features only one other musician, pianist Kenny Barron. The feeling and understanding between these two jazz masters is amazing.

Jack Ashby


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