Stan Getz - Bossas And Ballads, Jazz As Good It "Getz"

Gems From The Record Room: If you'd like to fall in love with jazz, this is the album for you. Late in his amazing career, Stan Getz recorded this little platter of perfection, Bossas and Ballads. Getz was a tenor sax player and band leader whose career spanned the 1940's through the 1980's and Getz played with nearly all the greats. He was most well known for his huge bossa nova hit "The Girl from Ipanema" with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto.

Produced by Herb Alpert, Bossas and Ballads is not only a great sax album; it's also a great piano record, by virtue of the majority of the tracks being composed by piano player Kenny Barron. This quartet also featured the brilliant rhythm section of George Mraz on bass and Victor Lewis on drums. They were not flashy, but played the most solid rhythm you could want to hear. "Sunshower" shows all the attributes of this fine album right there in the lead track. It begins with the main line of the song contained in a beautiful saxophone solo by Getz; next, a similarly melodic piano solo by Barron. After that comes a solo by Mraz on the upright bass; then they bring it home with the sax and piano playing together. Have a listen below. Many thanks to RDS from Potomac, MD for recommending this album.

Listen to "Sunshower"

Stan Getz - Bossas And Ballads: The Lost Sessions
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"There has been no lack of previously unissued material by the late Stan Getz coming out on CD, but the opportunity to get a further taste of the great tenor saxophonist's exceptional final period is not to be passed on. Recorded two months before his death in 1989 (and two years after the brilliant club dates documented on Anniversary and Serenity), Bossas and Ballads finds him in top form, continuing his memorable association with pianist Kenny Barron. Produced for A&M by Herb Alpert, but shelved in favor of the synthesizered Apasionado, this is vintage Getz: cool and relaxed but possessed of a sneaky explosive power. The man's lyricism could be devastating, and knowing he would be soon gone adds to the potency of his expression on songs such as "Sunshower" (one of five tunes by Barron), Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" and Sam Rivers' "Beatrice." A quarter century after spearheading the bossa nova movement in America, he brings a bit less lilt to the form, but more body, never resting on his inventions" -Lloyd Sachs

Photos Courtesy of Verve Records


Charlie Ricci said…
This is good, not typical of the smooth jazz that was born around this time. I've never heard the whole album. However, Getz's best work is also one of my all time favorite jazz albums ever, Getz/Gilberto, with its hit, "The Girl From Impanema," a true story by the way.

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