Stan Getz

1946-1949

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These are the first recordings ever released under the name of Stan Getz. Four Savoy sides from July 1946 constitute one hell of a debut as Getz gets off with the expert backing of Hank Jones, Curly Russell, and Max Roach. "Opus de Bop" and "Running Water" are dazzlers, while "And the Angels Swing" and "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" reveal Getz's often-noted Lester Young influence. Six sides cut for Bob Shad's Sittin' in With record label in October 1948 are especially satisfying on account of pianist Al Haig, electric guitarist Jimmy Raney, bassist Clyde Lombardi, and drummer Charles Perry. All six tunes were composed by Getz and demonstrate an obsession with bop formulae. "Frosty," also known as "Flugelbird," was recorded about a month later for Shad's other label, Jax. The same rhythm section backs trumpeter Norman Faye and a tenor sax quartet of Getz, Zoot Sims, Allen Eager, and Al Epstein. Garnished with a bit of primitive vibrato, this record has a strange but not unpleasant quality. The Stan Getz Tenor All Stars put down four sides for the New Jazz label in April 1949, lining up Al Cohn, Allen Eager, Brew Moore, and Zoot Sims in a smooth bop experiment landing somewhere between Woody Herman's Herd and Coleman Hawkins' Keynote Sax Ensemble. Walter Bishop laid a lot of block chords while sax after sax took a shot at running the changes, and Getz even blew baritone on "Five Brothers." A Savoy session from just a few weeks later placed trombonist Earl Swope amid Getz, Cohn, and Sims, with Duke Jordan on piano. Both of these octets came across as cool and well-organized. The Stan Getz Quartet, with Al Haig, Gene Ramey, and Stan Levey, made five excellent sides for the Prestige and New Jazz labels on June 21, 1949. Their rendition of Victor Herbert's "Indian Summer" is superbly mellow. It is easy to draw a line directly from this whimsical record directly to the cool bossa novas that would make Stan Getz so famous years later, even among a record-buying public who never heard any of these marvelous early recordings by this suede-toned tenor man.

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