This is a more than welcome addition to the Getz discography.

Steeplechase SCCD 31960

Stan Getz, tenor sax; Joanne Brackeen, piano, electric piano; Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, bass; Billy Hart, drums.

Copenhagen studio, January 30, 1977

  1. Canção Do Sol (8:53) / 2. Blue Serge (6:23) / 3. Lady Sings The Blues (6:10) / 4. Quiso (6:24) / 5. I Remember Clifford (3:55) / 6. Litha (9:34) / 7. Cançao Do Sol (take 2) (8:48) / 8. Blue Serge (take 1) (5:51) / 9. Cançao Do Sol (take 3) (5:17)

Stan Getz and Copenhagen go together. Denmark was a haven for Getz in the fifties and at the end of his life he made his final recordings in the country: the magnificent ‘People Time’. The mellifluous Joanne Brackeen and the exciting bass playing of Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen superbly well-grounded this band, on this recording. The material that was recorded at the Montmartre club was released as Live At Montmartre, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Getz was moving from one phase to the next and it is reflected in the choice of material. ‘Canção Do Sol’was an essential part of his set to satisfy the people who wanted to hear the Brazilian side of the tenorist. This album was recorded in the studio the next day and then put on the shelf.

There’s much to admire, the nuance of tones that he achieves which can move from an impressionistic softness to an almost anguished cry. When you have not heard Getz for some time you are reminded of the beauty. Now it sounds even better as his playing and style is no longer in the ascendant and many saxophone players have adopted a more abrasive tone. Getz, of course, over time, since the fifties, has developed a harsher tone peppered with at times a swaggering aggression.

The way that Getz picks his way through the Billy Holiday piece ‘Lady Sings the Blues’, is an indication of the love that he has for the melody. The rather plodding way that Orsted Pedersen accompanies the tenor might indicate why the take was rejected. Initially. Three versions of ‘Canção Do Sol’ are probably included because they were recorded- why waste them and they fill the album. Billy Hart who spent nearly a decade with Getz is not a driven drummer. Getz at times had worked with Elvin Jones and Tony Wiliams and probably preferred a more self-effacing musician. The ballads.’Blue Serge’, ‘I Remember Clifford’. are played with sensitivity and strength. ‘Quiso’ by Kenny Wheeler is a tribute to Getz’ questing spirit. It was not an obvious choice. ‘Quiso’ is one of Kenny Wheeler’s melodies which is pleasant without being memorable.

Joanne Brackeen plays the Fender Rhodes as well as acoustic. Her accompaniment on ‘Blue Serge’, where she uses the acoustic piano, is much better than the pinched sound of the electric. Her driving accompaniment on ‘Quiso’ challenges Getz and he responds. This is not the smooth Lou Levy, Albert Dailey, Brackeen is harsher when she uses the acoustic piano.

This is a more than welcome addition to the Getz discography. Whitney Balliett, The New Yorker jazz critic, in a survey of Getz’ work notes that Getz could play rings around God.