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July 19, 2011

Jazz Stylist Stan Getz

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Contributed by guest blogger Douglas Payne

Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz (1927-91) is one of jazz’s best and best-known sax players. His warm, lyrical sound transcended many fads and fashions in jazz and was remarkably consistent throughout his long and varied career. Although he played everything from bebop to cool jazz, he is best remembered for popularizing the warm wave of the Brazilian Bossa Nova in America during the early 1960s, scoring huge, timeless hits with such songs as “The Girl from Ipanema.”

After a long tenure and much success at Verve Records (1952-72), Getz spent most the 1970s at Columbia, where he waxed several more classics and created a diverse body of work that holds up especially well some four decades later. The saxophonist’s work in the ‘70s mirrors much of the work he did in the ‘60s – in small group, sax and strings, even Bossa Nova settings – but adds the era’s added amplification (electric basses, keyboards, etc) and some especially improved recording techniques to give Getz an up-to-date sound that doesn’t compromise any of his dynamic lyricism or his patented delivery.

Stan Getz – The Complete Columbia Albums Collection gathers all seven of the saxophonist’s Columbia albums plus a bonus disc of Getz concert material featured on other albums during the period in a handsome, sturdy box that fits easily on most CD shelves with each individual album packaged in replica mini LP sleeves reproducing the original record’s exact graphics, and a 15-page booklet with complete discographical information, photos and liner notes by the set’s producer, Richard Seidel (who oversaw the majority of Getz’s Verve reissues in the 1990s when he was president of Verve).

This stunning package is a tremendous addition to any jazz collection and catalogs the fine, timeless and nearly forgotten work Stan Getz contributed to jazz in the 1970s. Nearly all the music here was produced by the saxophonist, indicating that the artist alone had much control in the way his music was prepared and presented. This explains why his performance throughout sounds so impassioned. It’s clear that he loved the music he recorded during this time. This box set is well worth celebrating.

[ Continue reading Doug's breakdown of each reissued album included in Stan Getz - The Complete Columbia Albums Collection set ]

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