Trapeze Catalogue

Stan Getz Plays The Blues

Stan Getz Plays The Blues

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I can play different styles and appreciate [other] styles, the great tenor saxophonist Stan Getz remarked in an interview in 1950, close to the dawn of his career as a soloist in his own right. At the time he made this observation, Getz was being hailed as one of the coolest of the new cool school, a glacial-toned improviser whose natural metier appeared to be stoic-faced interpretations of Great American Songbook ballads, the very epitome of the introspective, post-war construct that now labelled jazz high art rather than gutbucket entertainment.

But there was and had always been another Getz, one who'd drunk deep from the roots-infused vintages pressed by his spiritual forebear Lester Young, a player whose solos never failed to contain a trace of the blues. Getz could play the blues as well as anyone, although jazz history books rarely ever make mention of the fact; in fact, one of his earliest recordings as a leader Crazy Chords proved just how well, the saxophonist and his band taking the sequence through all twelve keys, resulting in a 78rpm that many would-be tenor stars wore to a powder. By no means was this (to some ears definitive) statement the end of Getzs fondness for the most basic of all jazz's resources; quite the opposite, and as his career rocketed skyward in the 1950s, he always kept one foot firmly planted in the blues. This collection assembles no fewer than a dozen examples of Getz doing just that, kicking his heels in settings ranging from summits with fellow modern jazz icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Gerry Mulligan through encounters with swing era giants Count Basie and Lionel Hampton and onto a clutch of stellar examples of his own quartets and quintets, featuring then new stars such as Horace Silver and Jimmy Raney.

The range of Getzs blues from the bop-meets-country allusions heard on his meeting with guitarist Herb Ellis to the near boogie-woogie mood struck on his session with piano titan Oscar Peterson is a reminder that far from being a monochromatic film-noir balladeer the saxophonist could play any part, in any style. I don't want to become stagnant, he once said. I can be a real stompin' tenor man. Compiled with period photos and an extended booklet essay by award-winning saxophonist and writer Simon Spillett, this anthology could well be subtitled the stompin' Stan Getz.


“Another Acrobat compilation, another Simon Spillett multi-page essay. Both welcome, of course, for Getz's sound and methodology never fail to entrance, and Spillett, casts a fellow-tenorist's beady eye over his subject. And what a subject! With such riches to plunder, any collation is bound to be subjective and, happily, there are no duds here... Pure pleasure: definitely recommended.” **** - Peter Vacher (Jazzwise Issue 242)

“Getz must surely rank alongside Hawkins, Webster and Young as one of the great tenor players of all time. I would contend that anyone calling themselves a jazz lover will find something in this compilation to enjoy. And in the unlikely event they don’t, Simon Spillett’s lengthy, polemical booklet-notes, taking in everything from ‘fake news’ to ‘revisionist’ history and including some quite shocking details of Getz’s personality is in itself well worth the modest price of the CD.” – Jim Denham (Just Jazz Issue 254)

“If anyone still needs an introduction to Stan Getz, then this would be admirable. For the rest of us it’s lovely to hear good but familiar music again.” –  Steve Voce (Jazz Journal September 2019)

Disc 1
Track Title Artist
1 Crazy Chords Stan Getz Quartet
2 Navy Blue Stan Getz Quartet
3 Jumpin' With Symphony Sid Stan Getz Quintet
4 Impromptu Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz Sextet
5 Nails Stan Getz with The Count Basie Orchestra
6 Gladys Lionel Hampton And Stan Getz
7 Blues For Mary Jane Stan Getz Quartet
8 Chocolate Sundae Jazz Giants
9 Billie's Bounce Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson
10 Blues For Herky Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio 
11 Blues For Janet Herb Ellis
12 Crow's Nest Cal Tjader/Stan Getz Sextet
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  • Release:
    December 2018
  • Artist:
    Stan Getz
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