If you've ever wondered what gems may have been hidden away in the Stan Getz musical archives, then think no further. Chicago saxophonist/educator Mark Colby has done an excellent job of culling compositions from a variety of sources that exemplify the warmth, lyricism, and emotion that became the indelible imprint in Stan Getz's sound. Among those songs are three new compositions written by Colby, Bob Meyer, and Chris Madsen that speak to heart of Getz's ability to play back his innate musicality. "When It Matters" is a brilliant composition that articulates the sensitivity, moodiness, and beauty of Colby's tenor saxophone when accompanied by strings. With its film noir ambience, the serious bebop musical elements work in tandem with the ornate string section to produce a velvet flow of sound that is as seamless as it is lovely. On the Benny Carter-Sammy Cahn masterwork "Only Trust Your Heart," Colby's prominent tenor pulls so many strands of his history with Getz together that you can't help but realize that his love of Getz's musical sound is truly from the heart. An impressive exponent of cool jazz, Getz gets a real tribute on "How Deep Is the Ocean." Colby beautifully builds up harmonic and melodic constructs within the cool style of playing without the blasts, honks, or squealing often heard from those from the hard bop school. His playing is resonant, serene, and romantic. Colby's interpretation of Chick Corea's "Sea Journey" is rich with the acoustics associated with Getz's samba and bossa nova movement of the '60s. The excellent soloing from vibraphonist Dick Sisto and bassist Eric Hochberg add significant layers of cool that make this song memorable. Overall, Speaking of Stan is ripe with attractive modernism, bebop, and cool accompaniments. It makes an excellent addition to any jazz collection.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein