Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

270

Stan Getz: Plays for Lovers

By

Sign in to view read count
This compilation enters a marketplace littered with Getz compilations—and it's superior to the lot. It triumphs over the ton of Verve Getz disks by virtue of not having "The Girl From Ipanema," which the Verve marketing department assumed jazz fans needed to own on at least five Getz discs. More seriously, this anthology, culled from the newly combined Fantasy and Concord labels, offers a glowing showcase of Getz the ballad genius, from the early '50s to the '80s.

The nine tunes here present a strong case for Stan Getz sharing the honor with Ben Webster as the most deep and sophisticated interpreter of ballads on tenor sax ever. When Coltrane remarked, "We would all play like Stan Getz if we could," I would speculate that Coltrane had ballads in mind when thinking of Getz's supremacy.

The selection of ballad interpretations from the '50s show a youthful, boppish Getz matched by fine musicians nowhere near his level: Cal Tjader on vibes and Vince Guaraldi on piano. Their version of "For All We Know" could have been more effective if Getz had been alone in the studio, for the little difference their tiny coloristic contributions make. A better coordination with Getz is offered by bassist Percy Heath on "My Old Flame." You can nearly swear that somewhere Lady Day was humming along.

The collection skips from the '50s to the '70s, since Getz was the bossa nova money machine for Verve in the decade between. The '70s selection is a fine one with the Bill Evans trio—in spite of the fact that Evans and Getz both sound they are happily ignoring the cues of the other, stubborn bastards as they were—but somehow the players get through it with grace.

The selections from the '80s, originally released on Concord, are simply majestic, and it is beyond me why they didn't receive more critical acclaim when they were originally released. "Close Enough for Love" and "A Time for Love" are occasions for Getz to stretch into long, lyrical lines that became his signature until his death. Pianist Lou Levy gives just the right sympathetically subtle support, and did Getz ever have a more sensitive drummer than Victor Lewis?

Some jazz fans may be turned off by the "For Lovers" label on a CD compilation—the British authors of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD found it damning that Verve released a "Coltrane for Lovers" collection. It doesn't bother me. Nor should it bother you in the instance of this Getz collection, because you don't have to be in love to realize this is the best Getz sampler there is.


Track Listing: Easy Living; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Spring is Here; For All We Know; My Old Flame; Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?); But Beautiful; Close Enough for Love; A Time for Love.

Personnel: Stan Getz: tenor saxophone; Lou Levy: piano; Victor Lewis: drums; Monty Budwig: bass; Cal Tjader: vibes; Bill Evans: piano; Percy Heath: bass; Eddie Duran; guitar; and others.

Title: Plays for Lovers | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Train Of Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Train Of Thought
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Autumn Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Wind
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis &...
by John Kelman
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "2" CD/LP/Track Review 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Life In Space" CD/LP/Track Review Life In Space
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Rock Pool Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Rock Pool Mirror
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2017