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Stan Getz

Beginnings...

Stan Getz was born at St. Vincent's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 2, 1927. He had one brother, Robert, who was born on October 30, 1932. His parents had come from the Kiev area in the Ukraine in 1903, tired and fearful of the Pogroms. The Getz family had first settled in West Philadelphia, but moved to New York City after Stan's fraternal uncle told them there were better jobs in New York. They lived first on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and then moved up to the East Bronx.

Stan's father had many jobs, but he wasn't aggressive by nature and was thus often unemployed. Stan's mother was a more demanding person and pushed her first son hard to study. She hoped he would become a doctor or a professor and took extra care of him, setting straight "A" standards for his schoolwork. Stan worked hard in school. During hot Bronx summers, Stan developed a love for swimming at Crotona Park. At this same park, he sold sunflower seeds in two-cent packets that he had purchased in bulk. Stan had his Bar Mitzvah in 1940. Neither Stan nor Robert had much spiritual grounding. Between them, they would have four wives and seven children, none of whom were raised Jewish.

Stan finished 6th grade near the top of his class and was accepted into an accelerated program where he would combine 7th and 8th grades into one academic year. He was attracted to musical instruments, and he pestered people until he could try whatever instrument came within his view. He was playing the harmonica by age 12 and bass in Jr. High School. Early indications off his innate talent became apparent with his ability to play new tunes he would hear- picking them out on the piano or his harmonica. He conducted a fantasy opera orchestra in front of the radio. He would hum all of the famous Benny Goodman clarinet solos from memory. As he studied music, he was instantly good at sight-reading and seemed to have a photographic memory, as well as an instinctive sense of pitch and rhythm.

On February 16, 1940, his Dad bought him a $35.00 alto saxophone. Stan was 13. He moved on quickly to play all of the saxophones, as well as the clarinet, but he really loved the sound of the tenor saxophone. "In my neighborhood my choice was: be a bum or escape. So I became a music kid, practicing eight hours a day. I was a withdrawn, hypersensitive kid. I would practice the saxophone in the bathroom, and the tenements were so close together that someone from across the alleyway would yell, 'Shut that kid up', and my mother would shout back, 'Play louder, Stanley, play louder'." He mooched quarters off of his Mom so that he could take saxophone lessons every week from an excellent local teacher named Bill Sheiner. He even took up playing bassoon in the school band.

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15
Album Review

Various Artists: The Birth of Bop

Read "The Birth of Bop" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Someone famously called jazz the sound of surprise, but all too often, what is on offer is the dull hum of routine. Or something like that. This historic reissue is, however, anything but routine. This is not the first time that Teddy Reig's Savoy sides have been reissued (was he also the mysterious Buck Ram listed as producing one track?), but Craft Recordings took a lot of trouble to produce this very fine selection. If a listener were, ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Saxophonists, Classic and Contemporary

Read "Saxophonists, Classic and Contemporary" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show features a wide variety of saxophonists, both as soloists and bandleaders. It includes iconic players like Stan Getz and Roscoe Mitchell as well as today's stars with Melissa Aldana and Miguel Zenon. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) 00:00 Art Pepper “Blues In" from Modern Art (Blue Note) 1:00 Lee Konitz “I'll Remember April" from Seven Classic Albums ...

7
Radio & Podcasts

Jazz and Bossa Nova - Gilberto, Jobim, Bonfa, Getz (1958 - 1963)

Read "Jazz and Bossa Nova - Gilberto, Jobim, Bonfa, Getz (1958 - 1963)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Fueled by the 1959 international release of the movie “Black Orpheus" and through reports from US jazz players returning from South American tours, the Brazilian music bossa nova (Portugese for “new trend" or “new wave") found its way into American jazz in the early 1960s, becoming a permanent part of the jazz fusion. Stan Getz, in particular, appreciated bossa nova as the interaction between cool jazz and samba and collaborated successfully with many of the pioneers of the new music, ...

17
Album Review

Stan Getz: Getz At The Gate

Read "Getz At The Gate" reviewed by Chris May


Connoisseurs of Stan Getz continue to get lucky with newly discovered live recordings. The last was Moments In Time (Resonance, 2016), a single CD documenting parts of a week-long residency with a quartet including pianist JoAnne Brackeen in San Francisco in 1976. Getz At The Gate, recorded fifteen years earlier, is another substantial addition to Getz's catalogue. Over two CDs, or three LPs if you prefer, it includes all 139 minutes which Getz's band performed at New York's ...

3
Radio & Podcasts

Cool - Four Brothers After Woody Herman (1946 - 1961)

Read "Cool - Four Brothers After Woody Herman  (1946 - 1961)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Bandleader Woody Herman created a distinctive sound around The Four Brothers -the three tenor plus baritone sax front line of Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Herbie Stewart (later Al Cohn) and Serge Chaloff--and the writing of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre. In time, Getz, Sims, Chaloff, Cohn and Giuffre would all become distinctive soloists and all had a role in defining West Coast Jazz in the 1950s. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 Stan Getz Quartet. “Opus De Bop" from Bebop Story: Vol. ...

11
Getting Into Jazz

Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio

Read "Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Saxophonist Stan Getz shines in this disc, recorded early in his career with top-flight musicians who created a perfect setting for his skills and sensitivity. Give him an “A" in “Plays well with others." Background Like Zoot Sims (see If I'm Lucky in this “Getting Into Jazz" ...

24
Building a Jazz Library

Stan Getz

Read "Stan Getz" reviewed by Mark Barnett


The story of Stan Getz (1927-1991) has to begin with Lester Young. Before Young, tenor sax players seemed awash in testosterone. Their sound was full, rich, deep, blown hard out of the instrument's lower registers, with emotion pouring out in lavish swoops and honks. Then along came Lester. In the post-war 1940s, he invented a new way to play the tenor sax: softly, effortlessly, with no wasted notes, and above all, without drama. There was emotion, of course, but it ...

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Birth of Bop

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

Getz/Gilberto '76

Resonance Records
2016

buy

Stan Getz At Nalen...

Point Entertainment
2011

buy

The Cool Sound Of...

Point Entertainment
2011

buy

Videos

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