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Just Friends

Stan Getz, Helen Merrill Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 15.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Feb 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B0000047AB
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,739 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cavatina
2. It Never Entered My Mind
3. Just Friends
4. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
5. Baby Ain't I Good To You
6. It's Not Easy Being Green
7. If You Go Away
8. Yesterdays
9. Music Maker

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two jazz greats combine in one spectacular CD. 2 Jan 2006
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Recognized as one of the country's great jazz singers, Helen Merrill is also one of the least known, except to aficionados. In this remarkable album from 1989, Merrill, then almost sixty years old, teams up with Stan Getz to record a stunning exhibition of improvisational jazz. Her mature voice is rich and powerful, but she retains a sweetness that allows her to be whispery, melancholy, pensive, or sexy without sounding "thin" or fragile. The timbre of Getz's sax blends perfectly with her alto to create a double-barreled melodic line, and their individual talents at improvisation lead to interpretations of immense creativity. The album is Merrill's, however, with Getz supporting but not overpowering her, remembering always that he is the talented guest on the album.
The songs encompass many moods. "Cavatina," written by Cleo Laine, is soft, slow, and wonderfully romantic, and Getz's variations build on the romance. "It Never Entered My Mind" shows Merrill's control, as she almost whispers the lyrics, creating a pensive, moody ballad with fresh sounds and interpretations. By contrast, "Just Friends" is upbeat and quick, and "It Don't Mean a Thing," an Ellington song, is wild and swingy, with a terrific piano solo (Joachim Kuhn) to continue the melodic variations introduced by Getz. "Baby, Ain't I Good to You" gets the slow, sexy treatment, while Jacques Brel's "If You Go Away," so often a song of agony and passion, is introduced by Getz's solo sax and becomes quiet and melancholy here, moodier and less threatening than most other interpretations.
The climax is "Yesterdays," a song so filled with improvisation that it is sometimes difficult to recognize the original melody.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two jazz greats combine in one spectacular CD. 14 July 2005
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Recognized as one of the country's great jazz singers, Helen Merrill is also one of the least known, except to aficionados. In this remarkable album from 1989, Merrill, then almost sixty years old, teams up with Stan Getz to record a stunning exhibition of improvisational jazz. Her mature voice is rich and powerful, but she retains a sweetness that allows her to be whispery, melancholy, pensive, or sexy without sounding "thin" or fragile. The timbre of Getz's sax blends perfectly with her alto to create a double-barreled melodic line, and their individual talents at improvisation lead to interpretations of immense creativity. The album is Merrill's, however, with Getz supporting but not overpowering her, remembering always that he is the talented guest on the album.

The songs encompass many moods. "Cavatina," written by Cleo Laine, is soft, slow, and wonderfully romantic, and Getz's variations build on the romance. "It Never Entered My Mind" shows Merrill's control, as she almost whispers the lyrics, creating a pensive, moody ballad with fresh sounds and interpretations. By contrast, "Just Friends" is upbeat and quick, and "It Don't Mean a Thing," an Ellington song, is wild and swingy, with a terrific piano solo (Joachim Kuhn) to continue the melodic variations introduced by Getz. "Baby, Ain't I Good to You" gets the slow, sexy treatment, while Jacques Brel's "If You Go Away," so often a song of agony and passion, is introduced by Getz's solo sax and becomes quiet and melancholy here, moodier and less threatening than most other interpretations.

The climax is "Yesterdays," a song so filled with improvisation that it is sometimes difficult to recognize the original melody. Merrill stays in the background here as Getz and bassist Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark go to town creating a fresh sound for this standard. Impeccable in its musical presentation and very dramatic in its originality, this album sets the standard for collaboration between two jazz stars who obviously respect each other and their medium--and it may be Merrill's best album. Mary Whipple
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful find! Merrill and Getz together. Great! 9 Sep 1998
By goens@uhavax.hartford.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD is wonderful. Merrill and Getz compliment each other lyrically and stylistically. Being a Getz fan over the years, I found the connection with Merrill and her voice and style a great treat. Too bad there aren't more collaborations between these two.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the whole can be less than the sum of the parts 16 Aug 2011
By Bertrand Vermeer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Helen Merrill? In my opinion one of the most gifted singers in the world of jazz. Stan Getz? One of the most talented sax-players in the world.
But there arises a problem when you combine these two. There develops no unity, Stan plays his own thing (nice solo's!), Helen tries to make the best of it (as she always does), but the result refuses to cross the border of a meagre final result.
But there is a distinct dissimilarity between the two recordingsessions on this CD.
The recordings made 19 june and 5 july in New York surpass those of the july sessions made in Paris. Helen is accompanied here by Torrie Zito and has the opportunity and mental peace to be quite herself and perform some moving songs (Baby ain't I good to you, It's not easy being green, If you go away).
So, it seems better to share the two performances and give the whole four stars (three for Paris, five for New York) instead of three as I did before.
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