Stan Getz

My Old Flame

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Stan Getz' May 1981 appearance at San Francisco's Keystone Corner resulted in two albums on Concord Jazz. First, Concord provided The Dolphin in 1981, and in 1992 (the year after his death from cancer) seven more Keystone performances were released as Spring Is Here. In 2001, Concord combined those albums on My Old Flame. If you already have Spring Is Here and the CD reissue of The Dolphin, obtaining this two-CD set won't be necessary. But if not, My Old Flame is easily recommended. During his long career, Getz was impressively consistent -- the lyrical, Lester Young-influenced tenor man rarely recorded a weak album, and his 1980s recordings often found him in excellent form. My Old Flame is no exception; backed by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Monty Budwig (who is incorrectly listed as Monty Ludwig in the credits), and drummer Victor Lewis, Getz is equally compelling on up-tempo material (including "How About You" and "Old Devil Moon") and ballads. Getz could really pour his heart into ballads, which is exactly what he does on "Easy Living," "You're Blasé," and the title track. Despite its excellence, My Old Flame falls short of essential -- the saxman gave listeners many excellent albums, but excellent doesn't necessarily mean essential. Nonetheless, Getz's hardcore fans will find these Keystone performances to be delightful.

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