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 whod 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".

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



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