Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
While I was a university student, in the 1950s, my jazz education progressed very rapidly. I arrived with a record collection dominated by Jelly Roll Morton and Bunk Johnson. My cornet playing was just about competent enough for me to begin to play in student bands. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by fans of Stan Getz. The most important was Mike Shera, who went on to write dozens of reviews for Jazz Journal. He played me many recordings and gave me some to add to my growing collection. Later in life another friend, the critic Alun Morgan, gave me a whole set of the very last recordings Stan made.
So I have heard a lot of Stan Getz. This 2 session CD I rate among the best of all his recordings. The first half is an excellent session with pianist Jim McNeely. The second is a wonderful live session from 1981, where Stan is reunited with two old associates, pianist Lou Levy and bassist Monty Budwig. I believe the recording gives us a full set in order as played. They begin with a relaxed bossa nova, The Dolphin. Then they cruise through Clifford Brown’s beautiful tune, Joy Spring. Stan now begins to extend himself on The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, – a solo singled out by several critics. But for me the boiling point comes next. Stan and Lou are fired up. So they choose an old favourite which they must have played many times, How About You. Stan plays one of his finest recorded solos, but Lou matches him superbly, using the full resources of jazz piano to produce a powerful imaginative solo. Then, with amazing relaxation and superb technique, Stan records one of his finest ballad solos, You’re Blasé. Old Devil Moon and I’m Old Fashioned complete a wonderful set.
Trust me, the second CD here is one of the very best live jazz recordings we have.
[ Stan Getz – Tempus Fugit is on Recall Double CD SMDCD251 ]