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4.3 out of 5 stars
10
4.3 out of 5 stars
Four Classic Albums [Focus / The Soft Swing / West Coast Jazz / Cool Velvet]
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 June 2012
Avid have produced another budget compilation of four Getz albums on 2 discs with digital remastering producing superb sound. (Focus and Cool Velvet were recorded in stereo). They vary in style but the common denominator is the sublime tenor saxophonist Stan Getz.
Some of these have been presented in various forms over the years (Focus,The Soft Swing,West Coast Jazz). What we have here is the core of the classic albums.

1: FOCUS. Recorded in New York over 3 months late 1961 and released in 1962. Composed and arranged by Eddie Sauter and the orchestra conducted by Hershy Kay. There were no written parts for Getz, his improvisation gliding above the strings.
He is in stunning form. From his entrance on 'I'm Late-I'm Late', this is clearly special. The track tacks together the only 2 takes of the composition. Whether taking the faster 'Night Rider', or the delicate ballads 'Her' (dedicated to Stan's mother), 'I Remember When' and 'A Summer Afternoon', Stan is masterful. This was apparently the album that Stan Getz was most proud of.

2: THE SOFT SWING. These tracks were the last recorded by Stan before he left America for Copenhagen. The numbers are the New York recordings (July 1957) that appeared on one side of the original release (plus Pocono Mac). Mose Allison(p), Addison Farmer(b),Jerry Segal(d). The other side of the original was recorded in Hollywood with different backing. Getz takes the reins with a highly individual 'All The Things You Are' and a fine interpretation of the much-recorded 'To The Ends Of The Earth'. Mose Allison plays some earthy 12 bar piano on 'Down Beat'.

3: WEST COAST JAZZ. These numbers were amongst those played in Zardi's, a leading jazz club in Hollywood. Conte Condoli(t), Lou Levy(p),Leroy Vinnegar(b), Shelley Manne(d). Stan Getz is in supreme form. His solo on 'Shine' is still remarkable and one of his finest recorded. His improvisation is so inventive that even the excellent and underated Condoli is left clutching for air when it is his turn to follow. Levy takes on most of the donkey work. There are no drum or bass solos. Getz's playing throughout is highly creative. Expanded versions of these are found on later releases with alternate takes.They are so different it is clear the originals were almost entirely off-the cuff based on loose lines.

4: COOL VELVET. Getz with strings arranged by Russ Garcia (March 1960). All ballads played beautifully and with apparent ease by the tenor. Typical examples are 'The Thrill Is Gone', 'Round Midnight','It Never Entered My Mind' and the closing 'Nature Boy'. Almost background music if not for the melodic Getz and the delighful arrangements.

An excellent compilation of different settings from a monumental artist.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 May 2012
This double-disc set presents the original contents of four vinyl albums, the earliest being "West Coast Jazz" which dates from August 1955. Stan had been fronting a group at Zardi's in Hollywood, which comprised Conte Candoli, Lou Levy, Leroy Vinnegar and Shelley Manne, and the quintet was such a success that a recording session followed. Stan really blows up a storm on "Shine" but his leathery tone dominates the proceedings throughout. "The Soft Swing" was recorded two years later, with Mose Allison on piano, Addison Farmer on bass and Jerry Segal on drums. "Cool Velvet" was recorded in West Germany in March 1960 with a string orchestra conducted by Russell Garcia. Jazz it may not be, but who cares? Finally, "Focus" comes from late 1961, and features Stan improvising against a string orchestra playing arrangements by Eddie Sauter. Of all his recordings, and there were many, this was Stan's favourite. "Cool Velvet" and "Focus" were both recorded in stereo, and the sound quality is quite breathtaking.
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on 8 November 2012
Four Classic Albums (Focus / The Soft Swing / West Coast Jazz / Cool Velvet)
Stan Getz was the best tenor jazz player I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. His place in jazz history is cemented in all the wonderful albums he recorded. These four albums represent just a small part of that jazz history. From 1952 onwards, Stan was involved in many superb jazz albums, playing with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Shelly Manne and a host of other wonderful musicians. For that great dinner party, you would be hard-pushed to beat "Cool Velvet". I've used it on many occasions and it's amazing how the youngsters quickly get 'tuned' into the music, asking questions about this great artist. It's one of my choices to get them to listen to more albums of the great American Music scene.
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on 7 November 2013
Two of the four albums are good, but I personally don't get on with the strings CDs as I do with Clifford Brown. Getz himself is never at a loss - but I find the strings schmaltzy and irritating.
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on 27 February 2013
This double CD by Stan Getz represents good value and gives a picture of his work over a period. Well worth a listen.
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on 2 December 2015
Very very good ,am a great admirer of Stan Getz and the way he makes a saxaphone "talk" , truly amazing musician .... best ever saxophonist !!!!!
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on 8 December 2016
This is a high quality compilation of four classic albums, two in superb stereo - wish all compilations were this good...
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on 18 June 2016
Anything by Stan Getz is great, four albums in one box is even better.
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on 3 November 2014
Lovely music to listen to
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on 17 May 2015
heard better getz
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