Stan Getz & The Lighthouse All Stars: Live

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Stan Getz & The Lighthouse All Stars: Live Tenor saxophonist, Stan Getz, had a way with music that was always pretty uncompromising. Capable of producing a tone of exceptional beauty, he often relied on it to disguise a certain imperious quality in his work. If this was indeed the case, then it was prevalent for the majority of his career. However, musically speaking, he was at his hungriest in the early 1950s and this set is a nice companion to The Complete Roost Recordings (Blue Note,1950-54).

It documents a body of music that finds Getz in the kind of form that many others could only have envied. His admirers should however be warned, that their hero doesn't appear on the majority of this set, which makes his prominent billing a bit misleading. Once he's off the scene, the music settles down into a program very much in the archetypal West Coast vein, and in that respect, there's nothing here likely to change the way long-term fans will feel about that transitory fad.

Getz is in good form from the off. His solo on "I Only Have Eyes For You" is notable not only for that extraordinary tone and style (derived of course from Lester Young but even at this stage transcending the influence) but also for Getz's sense of rhythmic displacement. In this aspect of his work, Getz is aided in no small part, by Shelly Manne on drums, and the lesson is really brought home on an up-tempo version of "Love Me Or Leave Me," in which the tempo—pulled in different directions by the two men—takes on an extraordinary elasticity.

With Getz's departure after the first six tracks on the first disc the music loses a certain edge and Manne is almost alone in provoking interest. Pianist Hampton Hawes also turns the heat up with his contributions. His work on a quartet reading of "All The Things You Are.," with Shorty Rogers on trumpet as the only horn being a case in point; it's a welcome example of East Coast fire in the midst of West Coast politeness. Tenor saxophonist, Bob Cooper, also offers some welcome variation, especially on "Bernie's Tune," where his drive owes a certain debt to Lucky Thompson.

On the second disc the fare is very much music for faux sophisticated frat boys and their floozies. No matter how understandable it might have been for a musician to want to get out from under Stan Kenton's leadership, the music such men had produced has been, at best, only selectively inspiring over the years. And there isn't much here that will likely alter that perception.

That said, Hawes and his fellow pianists Russ Freeman and Claude Williamson do their best in salvaging something. In particular this is true of Hawes on "Morgan Davis," Freeman on the oddly-named "Comin' Thru The Rye Bread," and Williamson on "Blind Man's Bluff." Elsewhere, Barney Kessel's guitar work on the reading of "Round About Midnight" might just make listeners realize why he received praise from no less a personage than John Lennon!

For anyone not already converted to West Coast jazz from the 1950s, this is a set in which the pickings are slim, however. And the criticisms that have been made over the years are applicable here.

Track Listing: CD1: I Only Have Eyes For You; Jive At Five; Moonlight In Vermont; Love Me Or Leave Me; So Long Broadway; Topsy; Four Others; All The Things You Are; Creme De Menthe; Viva Zapata!; Bernie's Tune; Solitaire. CD2: Morgan Davis; La Soncailli; Luau; Comin' Thru The Rye Bread; Taking A Chance On Love; The Big Top; The Duke You Say!; Sunset Eyes; Witch Doctor No. 2; Round About Midnight; Mood For Lighthouse; Blind Man's Bluff; Lady Jean; Casa De Luz.

Personnel: Stan Getz: tenor sax (CD1#1-6); Russ Freeman: piano (CD1#1-6, CD2#3-8); Howard Rumsey: bass; Shelly Manne: drums (CD1, CD2#1-8); Bob Cooper: tenor saxophone (CD1#2, CD1#4-7, CD1#9-12, CD2)); Jimmy Giuffre: baritone saxophone (CD1#2-6), tenor saxophone (CD1#7, CD1#9-12, CD2#1-8); Teddy Charles: vibes (CD1#2, CD1#4-6); Shorty Rogers: trumpet (CD1#7-12, CD2#1-8); Maynard Ferguson: trumpet (CD1#7, CD1#9-12, CD2#1-2); Milt Bernhart: trombone (CD1#7, CD1#9-12, CD2#1-8); Frank Patchen: piano (CD1#7, CD1#9-12); Hampton Hawes: piano (CD1#8, CD2#1-2); Carlos Vidal: percussion (CD1#11); Frank Rosolino: trombone (CD2#9-14); Bud Shank: alto sax and flute (CD2#9-14); Claude Williamson: piano (CD2#9-14); Stan Levey: drums (CD2#9-14); Barney Kessel (CD2#11).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Giant Steps | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Hecho En Puerto Rico" CD/LP/Track Review Hecho En Puerto Rico
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "More Figs And Blue Things" CD/LP/Track Review More Figs And Blue Things
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!