Oh, that tone! That sweet, sweet tone!
llooc | CT, USA | 01/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've shied away from Stan Getz in the past because I've always associated him with bossa nova, and I get no listening pleasure from that style whatsoever.
So it was by sheer luck, and my good fortune, that I was driving around a few months ago without a CD, searching through the radio looking for something good. I stopped when I heard some swinging jazz coming through a station. Not big band swing, but more of a smooth and smoky sound, straddling the line between bop and swing without being precisely one or the other. At the end of the track, I was quite surprised to hear the announcer tell me that that was from Stan Getz's "The Steamer". When I got home, I hopped online and sampled more tracks from that album. Good stuff - so I went out and bought the whole album, and have been loving it ever since. "The Steamer" was good enough that I knew it wouldn't be the last Getz I'd get.
After that, I read up a little more on Getz, and discovered that there was a lot more to him than The Girl From Ipanema. Since I had to go to Tower to exchange an unwanted DVD gift, I went thumbing through the racks to see if anything jumped out at me. His "West Coast Jazz" caught my eye, since it was mid 50's pre-bossa nova, and a full CD of over 70 minutes. Plus, it had covers of Miles Davis's Four, Dizzie Gillespie's A Night In Tunisia, and Horace Silver's Split Kick. Seemed like a no-brainer.
Where have I been? Why has this sax tone been hiding from me? What I heard on "The Steamer" continues here. Sweet without being cloyingly so, cool without sounding pretentious. The trumpet on its own is not that harsh, but Getz's tenor sax is so smooth that when the trumpet comes in, the contrast is that much more evident in its sharpness. Pick your favorite cliche - baby's bottom, silk, satin - Getz is smoother than all of 'em.
And the rest of the band who fills out the quintet is absolutely perfect. It's Conte Candoli's trumpet and Lou Levy's piano that are the other prominent instruments here, with the bass and drums holding down the rhythm with consummate professionalism. I don't listen to the Woody Herman Band (maybe I should), but that band's members who appear behind Getz support him perfectly. Nobody's stepping on anybody's toes. With more than half of the songs over six minutes there's plenty of time for charismatic phrasing all around.
No need to go song by song; I've only gone through this a few times, but every track can stand on its own. I've already loaded this into my computer at work so I won't be without it.
The only thing that would make this more complete would be if it were sold with a martini with two olives."
Another West Coast Jazz classic!
rash67 | USA | 03/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stan Getz, who died more than a decade ago, continues to be amazingly prolific!
Verve has triumphed yet again digging another West Coast Jazz Classic out of the vaults and cleaning it up with a 20-bit remix.
Sparkling, complex, a mix of up-tempo and ballad arrangements. This late 50's CD sounds a lot like Stan's 80's work. Best tunes include "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", "Suddenly It's Spring", "Of Thee I Sing" and "Handful of Stars".
Similar to "Award Winner" and "The Steamer" - all recorded at the same time. Buy all three. Jazz's greatest saxophonist may be gone, but his legacy continues to astonish. Stan Levy, Getz drummer is quoted as saying "He (Stan) had no limits; he could play anything. The horn was an extention of his head. There were no barriers, the music just came out".
So come hear Jazz's most beautiful sax sounds come pouring out of him like a bubbling happy waterfall. Warm, and up-beat. For best results, listen on vacuum tube equipment, as it was originally recorded.
by MY tough rating system, a clear four to five stars for a great classic. Getz albums keep vanishing, the originals at least, not the best of's. Get it while you can, you won't be disappointed.
His mellow music is a balm for a harsh world.
Stan Getz, music for any coast
Linda C. Huffman | Santa Rosa, CA. USA | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buy it and you'll smile every time you listen."