When Stan Getz visited Paris to witness the French Open tennis matches, he would hang out at the Blue Note nightclub to hear how the locals did it, being told their jazz scene was not up to snuff. In London, he would pick up the European band he heard in Paris for an engagement at Ronnie Scott's. Because of his stature, Getz was able to grab the very best musicians the continent could provide, in this case the brilliant Belgian guitarist René Thomas, organist Eddy Louiss from Martinique, and French classical and jazz drummer Bernard Lubat. Bringing no charts of his own, Getz was happy to play the music of his bandmates, choosing virtually no standards, and fitting in beautifully with nary a hint of brandishing his famed ego to the proceedings. This original two-fer LP has been reissued on a double CD, a whopping 88 minutes of highlights over a three day span during an unprecedented three week engagement from this club date at the legendary venue owned the British fellow tenor saxophonist Scott. Perhaps there are some recordings with this combo featuring Scott sitting in with Getz, but that will have to wait for another recording. This one is excellently documented by Beatles producer George Martin, as every instrument is cleanly articulated and heard in pure, balanced form. Getz sounds comfortable and relaxed from the outset on one of five compositions brought by Louiss on "Dum! Dum," a light and breezy but mysterious tune with an implied bossa nova beat, while the title track is a blues shuffle road song, slightly funky, and a good test in regards to the dynamism of the quartet. Louiss, as gifted a jazz organist as any, digs in with splendid two fisted chords on his popping, fairly bluesy "Song for Martine," a tune just for fun that slips back into bossa. While Thomas is most outstanding on his incredible solos, he has room to contribute his "Ballad for Leo," not at all a ballad as the stabbing tones of the organist fire up everybody in a 6/8 framework. "Theme for Emmanuel" is as pretty a song as it gets, with the pristine, classical type free time repeat lines of Thomas opening up, then deferring to the swelling organ of Louiss as a foundation before busting out into the only hard bop swinger of the performance. The lone standard "Invitation" exploits another no time motif that only slightly builds in volume with the small organ of Louiss backing the consistently great guitar lines of Thomas. A truly sweet ballad, "Mona" is written by Albert Mangelsdorff in a manner that refutes the unabashed persona of the author/trombonist, as the silver lined threads of the organ weave through the extremely difficult, molasses slow rhythm. Getz himself is somewhat sublimated, playing his familiar melodically liquid and spare lines as heads and tails, likely in awe of the incredible band he stands alongside, and clearly reveres. He does a nice duet with Thomas on "Ballad for My Dad" waxing poetically over the repeat choruses of the masterful Thomas. Long out of print, Dynasty represents an interesting period in the artistic life of Getz, well out of pure bop, in between his commercial successes with Brazilian music, and on the verge of another phase of his life with fusion pioneers like Chick Corea. This is highly recommended, a solid effort from top to bottom. One quibble -- the name Eddy Louiss is constantly misspelled as Louise in credits, though it is correct in the liner notes.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2