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Stan Getz Sublime!
on 5 January 2012
This is a truly lovely collection from the melodic master. Disc 1 combines two live albums from Storyville, albeit with a running time of just under an hour, and that with 'Hershey Bar' strangely truncated. However, the material and performances here are simply sublime: gorgeously joyful, fresh melodies from Haig (piano), Raney (guitar), Kotick (bass) and Kahn (drums). There are no weak numbers here, quite the reverse, with my highlight being the exquisite 'The Song is You'.
Disc 2 combines 'Chamber Music' and 'For Musicians Only', with changes in the backing musicians, but no dilution of the quality of the playing, including memorable versions of 'Autumn Leaves' and 'These Foolish Things', while the latter album sees both Dizz Gillespie and Sonny Stitt join Getz in extended workouts 'Bebop', a lovely 'Dark Eyes', 'Wee' and 'Lover Come Back to Me', which range from over 8 to over 12 minutes each.
Disc 3 features a happy combination with Oscar Peterson's Trio, with quality & melody at the heart of everything, especially a lyrical 'Pennies from Heaven'. meanwhile 'Getz meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi' sees tenor and baritone horns interweave lushy rich ballads such as 'Let's Fall in Love' and 'That Old Feeling'. A truly magical cd altogether.
Disc 4 sees a substantial shift in style, with the Cal Tjader Sextet, with the dancing lightness of Tjader's vibes grounded in the legendary rhythm section of LaFaro and Higgins on bass and drums respectively. 'Cool Velvet' sees Getz creamy late-night refrain paint gentle pictures against an orchestral backwash; a little close at times to musical wallpaper, but always rescued in time, and with some truly addictive pieces to draw you back again.
So: a wonderfully rich selection of Getz's versatile and honeyed tones. Very limited biographical detail on the albums, and no context at all, but very good sound quality throughout. A gorgeous and sublime bargain.