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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Crotchet

STAN GETZ

Serenity

Recorded Live at Café Montmartre in Copenhagen July 6, 1987.

Universal Music EmArcy 838770-2

  1. On Green Dolphin St
  2. Voyage
  3. Falling in Love
  4. I Remember You
  5. I Love You

Stan Getz – Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Barron – Piano
Rufus Reid – Bass
Victor Lewis – Drums

Stan Getz was 60 when this recording took place; he had only four more years before his death from cancer in 1991. Technically he was probably the best-equipped tenor man of all times, equally he had a unique sound on the instrument which made him instantly identifiable. On this record he is backed by a jazz trio which has had few equals, Kenny Barron inspired Stan to his best ever work, but he was more than just that, he himself is a exceptional soloist. Rufus Reid is one of the best bass players you will ever hear his notes are clean and his solos inventive. Victor Lewis keeps immaculate time whilst swinging in a neat unobtrusive way and contributes mightily to the overall sound of the group.

On Green Dolphin St is a nice mid-tempo starter and Stan plays his way as only he can through this fine old standard. Voyage is a composition written by Kenny Barron that really seems to fire up the whole band. I suspect that by this time Stan knew that his life span was not going to last to much longer and as well as the usual immaculate tone, there is also an anguish in his playing that was not heard in earlier recordings. Kenny Barron contributes a magnificent piano solo his playing is full of invention as always.

Falling In Love is a Victor Feldman composition; Feldman was a British pianist who had graduated from being a child drumming protégé in London, to being acknowledged as one of the best around on the US jazz scene. This is no mean feat, the competition in the US is fierce and unless you are really up to it you are soon found out. The composition is ideal for the quartet and brings the best out of everyone. Charlie Parker was very fond of I Remember You, a Johnny Mercer composition and whilst Stan’s choice of tempo is similar, his approach to the tune is very different. Both treatments are excellent however and Stan is on great form, I am sure he is inspired by the work of the trio, which is outstanding.

Cole Porter’s composition’s feature in the repertoire of many of the greatest jazz players, most are well suited to the jazz performance. I Love You has been one of the most endearing and intriguing of these tunes. The performance here is like a master class as to how a jazz quartet should sound, Kenny Barron solos first this time and it was almost as though Stan did this to give himself a real challenge. He gets the challenge OK, but he responds magnificently.

There is no doubt in my mind that Stan was the greatest tenor sax player the jazz world has ever known, don’t miss the opportunity to hear more of his work.

Don Mather



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