On this reissued 1957 session, Stan Getz is joined by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Stan Levey. Getz’s sublime tone and flawlessly swinging solos don’t even require comment. He reaches Rollins-level heights of cleverness and fire on a nine-minute-plus version of "This Can’t Be Love." Lou Levy shares much of the spotlight with the award winner himself, turning in one excellent piano solo after another. The entire group is featured to full effect on a burning rendition of "Three Little Words."
The most unusual aspect of the reissue package is the inclusion not only of two alternate takes, but also five false starts and five "inserts" — song endings recorded for splicing purposes — on "Woody ’n’ You." The public release of archival material such as this continues to spark debate. Do false starts, inserts and the like give us greater insight into our favorite players, or are they just another symptom of cyber-age information overload? There’s some truth on both sides. Added tracks can seem pointless, and they tend to disrupt the flow of a record, even when placed after the final track of the original program. Yet warts-and-all outtakes can perhaps shed new light on the mundane aspects of music-making. Some listeners might feel inexplicably enriched, for instance, hearing Leroy Vinnegar begin "Time After Time" in the wrong key on track 13.
Even more important, given the way jazz has been underappreciated and neglected, shouldn’t we have too much of it rather than too little? Why let potentially interesting material rot in the vaults? We should probably be glad someone cares enough to dust it off.