Stan Getz

7 Classic Albums, Vol. 2

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This is the first of four discs to compile key as well as classic titles in the Stan Getz catalog. The only non-Verve title here is Diz & Getz from 1955 on Norgran (Norman Granz's label), with Oscar Peterson's trio and Max Roach on drums. This is followed by the well-known Getz in Stockholm offering from 1956, when he was by a Swedish trio including bassist Gunnar Johnson. During work on his Jazz at the Philharmonic series, Granz assembled the stellar 1957 meeting of bop, swing, and midtempo ballads on Stan Getz & J.J. Johnson at the Opera House (which also featured the Peterson trio, this time with Modern Jazz Quartet drummer Connie Kay in the lineup). There's an inexplicable jump in the story here; it doesn't pick up until 1961's lovely Focus with arranger Eddie Sauter. It placed the saxophonist's trio -- drummer Roy Haynes and bassist John Neves -- with three violins, cello, and viola. Another outing from that year Stan Getz & Bob Brookmeyer Recorded Fall '61 showcases a band with a rhythm section comprised of Haynes, Neves, and pianist Steve Kuhn. The two albums that round this collection out are both from 1962 -- Big Band Bossa Nova, arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland, and Jazz Samba, with guitarist Charlie Byrd, which scored a minor hit with Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado" at the dawn of bossa's influence on jazz. This box is cheap -- British copyright law is not as restrictive as it is in the U.S., where these titles were first released. Sonically, you also get what you pay for: the sound quality here is not nearly as detailed as either the Japanese or American remasters of these titles, and is somewhat thin. The stars in the rating are for the music, not the package.