283

Stan Getz: Affinity

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Talk about spontaneity. The material that comprises Affinity was taped a quarter-century ago by Stan Getz’s brother-in-law, bassist Peter Silfverskjöld, during an after-supper jam session at the Silfverskjöold home — and was never intended for commercial release.

“I had borrowed a deck tape-recorder, which I left on during the session,” Peter writes in the liner notes. “As you can hear, the setting is very informal — if you listen closely you can hear my grandfather’s clock chime and my six-year-old son’s voice at times.” That’s true, and you can also hear again the sublimely beautiful sound of Getz's tenor saxophone in marvelous form on half a dozen standards, Silfverskjöld’s soulful blues, “Snoopy’s Back,” and Getz's brief but impressive “Coda” — not to mention Stan discussing with his companions what number they should play next and in what key, and tossing in a post-solo quip or two such as “No applause; just throw money.”

Getz, one of the most melodic improvisers who ever lived, had a keen ear for an entrancing melody, and those he has chosen to play, as one can see from the titles, are among the loveliest ever written. As always, he makes each of them seem as cool and refreshing as a summertime splash in one’s favorite swimming pool, dancing around the changes with the suppleness and savoir-faire of an Astaire or Kelly.

If that seems an overstatement, remember this is Stan Getz we’re talking about, a tenor stylist who at age fifty, when this tape was made, was already a living legend, having made his mark with Woody Herman’s Second Herd and transcended his Lester Young bloodline to become one of the world’s most consistently inventive jazz artists, one whose achingly beautiful sound has seldom been imitated and never duplicated.

Getz is perfectly comfortable among his Swedish hosts, as well he should be — their character is as thoroughly “American” as any sidemen he’d be likely to encounter in New York, L.A. or anywhere else in the States. The rhythm section swings, and the pianists — Dage Jonsson, Lars Wadenbäck, Olle Larson — call to mind several of the leading players from the “West Coast School” such as Pete Jolly, Claude Williamson, Lou Levy, Russ Freeman and Gerald Wiggins. Larson, who plays only on “It’s You or No One,” is stylistically akin to one of Stan’s most able accompanists, John Williams. In spite of the few intrusions noted earlier, the sound is remarkably clear and pleasant.

Those who appreciate superlative jazz are indebted to Silfverskjöld for deciding, even twenty- five years after the fact, “to share the music of this night with [Stan’s] many friends.” It surely was a night to relish and remember.

Contact: Four Leaf Clover Records, Box 1231, S–1722 24 Sundbyberg, Sweden (e–mail flc@flc.se; web site, www.flc.se).


Track Listing: There Will Never Be Another You; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; It

Personnel: Stan Getz, tenor saxophone; Dage Jonsson (1), Lars Wadenb

Title: Affinity | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Four Leaf Clover Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Sunshine! Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine! Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.