After a decade establishing himself as one of the premiere tenor saxophonists in jazz with a slew of top Verve albums, Stan Getz began the '60s with this first foray into the world of strings. This, of course, would not be his last album with strings; later milestones like the Eddie Sauter-arranged Focus and lesser bowing dates like the Michel Legrand collaboration, Communications '72, would follow. And while certainly not on the same level as Focus, Cool Velvet still finds Getz at his melodic best over the course of ten tracks. Like earlier strings dates by Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown, Cool Velvet's slinky charts bring out the best in Getz's already romantic and liquid-toned approach. Recorded in Germany with a local combo, the album features Russell Garcia's (Louis Armstrong, Mel Tormé, Anita O'Day) relatively tame charts on a program that includes such highlights as "Early Autumn" and "Born to Be Blue." A very pleasant outing that trades in the cinematic atmospherics of Focus for some straightforward ballad dreaminess. Cool Velvet is also available as a two-fer with 1966's Voices album.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook