Stan Getz

Cafe Montmartre

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Before his death after a several year battle with cancer, Stan Getz continued to release a flurry of outstanding recordings. Cafe Montmartre is a compilation of several live performances at the famous Copenhagen club with pianist Kenny Barron, selected from three earlier CDs, the 1987 quartet dates Anniversary! and Serenity, plus the two-disc set People Time from 1991. Getz was a masterful ballad interpreter and delivers with the mournful tribute "I Remember Clifford" and an absolutely haunting, emotionally charged take of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" (written as its composer lay dying of cancer). Barron makes a strong case as one of Getz's very best accompanists, while bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Ben Riley (present only on the 1987 material), are also superb. With the tenor saxophonist and his musicians delivering one outstanding take after another on the original releases, it must have been very difficult to choose only nine of the 26; those on a budget will want this anthology, but Getz fans owe it to themselves to seek out the complete original discs instead.

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