It doesn't happen too often, but there are times when the title of a jazz album and the material within interface perfectly. Hence The Steamer, where Stan Getz joined forces with a super West Coast-based rhythm section to produce some truly steaming music. "Blues for Mary Jane" is remarkable; for all of the straight-ahead heat generated by the rhythm section, Getz is incredibly relaxed, poised, and always under control while still managing to swing like mad. In other words, the style that he was able to carry over to his bossa nova adventures in the following decade is right here, ready to go. There is also room for the Getz-ballad manner on "You're Blase," and "Like Someone in Love" combines a leisurely swinging tempo with Getz's natural warmth. From the evidence of these sessions alone, not to mention countless others, the team of bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Stan Levey ought to be anointed as one of the greatest rhythm sections in jazz history, and sure-fingered pianist Lou Levy benefits from their finesse and drive. All of this music is available on the three-CD set East of the Sun: The West Coast Sessions, and this Verve Master Edition release offers outtakes from that set at the end of the disc. Indeed, the alternate "How About You?" has some swinging hairpin turns by Getz that will make your head swivel.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell