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Stan Getz: Copenhagen Unissued Session 1977


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On January 29, 1977, tenor saxophonist Stan Getz was in Copenhagen, Denmark, performing at the city's famed Jazzhus Montmartre club. He was joined by Joanne Brackeen (p,el-p), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b) and Billy Hart (d). The next day, the quartet went into a studio in Copenhagen and recorded an album for SteepleChase Records. The club material from the 29th was released as Live At Montmartre, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2: Stan Getz Quartet. The studio session tapes from the 30th went up on a shelf and gathered dust for 47 years.

Now, Nils Winther, who founded SteepleChase in 1972, has released the studio album with a couple of previously unissued live tracks thrown in. I suppose Stan Getz: Copenhagen Unissued Session 1977 was held back because the record was viewed as more of the same at the time, and the label didn't want it getting underfoot of the double live album.

Getz here sails along smoothly in the high register, but what makes this album special is Brackeen, a superb pianist with enormous technique and daring. She was with Getz from 1975 to 1977 before leaving to form her own trio and quartet. Her solos here on both acoustic piano and the Fender Rhodes electric piano are robust and superb.

Getz would turn 50 just days later, on February 2, 1977, and he delivers several strong solos, especially on the ballads Blue Serge, Lady Sings the Blues and I Remember Clifford. On all three, he's matched by Brackeen. On two of the faster-paced Latin-flavored tracks—Milton Nascimento's Cançao Do Sol and Chick Corea's Litha—Getz is on fire, backed by a masterful Brackeen on the Rhodes. Kenny Wheeler's mid-tempo Quiso also features Brackeen, back on piano with Getz conversing with her instrumentally throughout.

A superb album for Getz fans and for those who love Brackeen, with a chance to hear Pedersen's strong, crafty bass and Hart's dashing drums. I'm so glad Nils decided to release this one. To read my JazzWax interview with Nils, go here. 

JazzWax clip: Here's Cançao Do Sol...

And here's Blue Serge...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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