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The Stan Getz Quartet: Bio

After gaining initial fame with Woody Herman's band, Stan Getz went solo in the late '40s, hitting his zenith during the bossa nova craze of the early '60s. Before scoring with "Girl From Ipanema," though, Getz established himself with a slew of fine dates for Prestige and Verve, including this one from 1950. At the time, Getz's cool, Lester Young-inspired sound was becoming more distinct and harmonically varied, featuring the beautifully mellifluous tone he would soon turn into his trademark. Getz's airy approach is optimally heard on Quartets' many ballad standards, including stellar versions of "My Old Flame" and "What's New." He even pens the standout ballad of the set, "Mar-cia," while demonstrating his varied writing skills with the original swinger "Crazy Chords." Other highlights include medium cookers like "There's a Small Hotel" and "Too Marvelous for Words" and the Latin-tinged "Lady in Red" (a sort of minor classic and admittedly one of Getz's favorites). Getz is ably supported by top players throughout, including pianist Al Haig, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Roy Haynes. Although the sound is not crystal clear (this is, after all, the early days of the LP), Quartets is still a very enjoyable set. Those new to his work, though, might want to start in with later, better-sounding releases on Verve, like Stan Getz Plays or Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio.

1 Announcement by Chip Monck  
2 It's Alright With Me (Cole Porter)  
3 Wildwood (Gigi Gryce)  
4 When The Sun Comes Out (Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler)  
5 Impressions (John Coltrane)  
6 Airegin (Sonny Rollins)  
7 Like Someone In Love (Jimmy Van Heusen-Johnny Burke)  
8 Woody 'N You (Dizzy Gillespie)  
9 Blues (Stan Getz)  
10 Where Do You Go (Alec Wilder-Arnold Sundgaard)  
11 Yesterday's Gardenias (Dick Robertson)  
12 Stella By Starlight (Victor Young-Ned Washington)  
13 It's You Or No One (Jule Stine-Sammy Cahn)  
14 Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most (Tommy Wolf-Fran Landesman)  
15 52nd Street Theme (Thelonious Monk)  
16 Jumpin' With Symphony Sid (Lester Young-King Pleasure)  
Getz at the Gate

On November 26, 1961, saxophonist Stan Getz and his relatively new quartet of Steve Kuhn, John Neves, and Roy Haynes performed at New York's Village Gate. The show was professionally recorded, possibly for eventual release, but was soon forgotten and the tape languished in the vaults for almost 58 years. On June 14th, Verve Records/UMe will release the 2-CD, 3-LP Getz at The Gate, which includes every note recorded that night. 

This recording and this quartet both serve as a sort of "road not taken" for Stan Getz. Having just returned from living in Europe, Getz assembled a new quartet and was exploring a slightly more modern and aggressive sound with this group. Steve Kuhn had only recently finished playing with John Coltrane's quartet and a more modern music and sound - personified by Coltrane - was gaining popularity. 

Crossover Media Projects with: The Stan Getz Quartet