Stan Getz Moments in Time
Stan Getz and Joćo Gilberto Getz/Gilberto '76
ince its establishment in 2008 as an essential part of the Los Angeles-based non-profit corporation Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, multiple-Grammy Award-winning Resonance Records has achieved the respect and admiration of scores of jazz lovers. Its founder, George Klabin, is dedicated to discovering, supporting and recording new artists from around the world and releasing historical recordings by such legends as John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Charles Lloyd, Gene Harris, Freddie Hubbard and Scott LaFaro.
It is the latter efforts, often requiring years of work to acquire clearances, that have garnered the most attention among jazz fans. The music on these two CDs is sourced from tapes made by Keystone Korner owner Todd Barkin forty years ago during a weeklong appearance by jazz great Stan Getz and Brazilian singer/songwriter Joćo Gilberto at Barkin's San Francisco club. Each CD comes in a four-panel sleeve, a profusely illustrated booklet with informative notes and essays by the producers, musicians and others tucked inside. Due to the excellent and tasteful restoration done by Fran Gala and George Klabin, the sound belies the four-decade-old recordings, allowing the tinkling glasses, rattling dishes and hushed conversation to put you in the club alongside other appreciative fans. Getz/Gilberto 76 is also being released as a limited-edition 180-gram LP mastered by Bernie Grundman and pressed at RTI.
Getz/Gilberto 76 revisits the unique spirit and gentle harmonies of bossa nova, the Brazilian musical blend of samba and jazz. The genre was wildly popular in the mid-1960s, spawning one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, the Grammy Award-winning Getz/Gilberto. Getzs lyrical tenor sax adds an element of suavity to half of the songs on this album, which include, in addition to the vocal numbers, two Gilberto guitar solos and the lovely "Doralice," a song from the earlier album. The music is the perfect complement to an evening of candlelight, fine wine and handcrafted food. There is not a harsh note to be heard, and Joćo Gilberto's voice, as light as an angels breath, is supported and enhanced beautifully by Getzs unfussy saxophone accompaniment and the gossamery rhythm section of pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston and drummer Billy Hart.
There's more of Getzs inimitable sax, this time in a quartet setting, on Moments in Time, which features Getz with the same rhythm section minus Gilberto. All of the eight songs last over five minutes, allowing ample time for the musicians to stretch out. Getz weaves his way through tunes ranging from the high-octane opening swinger, "Summer Night," to the relaxed samba beat of "O Grande Amor," pausing for the reflective, lyrical ballads "Infant Eyes," Horace Silvers "Peace," and Duke Ellingtons "Prelude to a Kiss." On chorus after chorus, Getzs tenor cuts like a well-honed saber through the fabric of the music. There is mainstream blowing aplenty, and Joanne Brackeen acquits herself quite nicely with her muscular playing. I especially like the way she, along with Houston and Hart, catch fire on Dizzy Gillespies "Con Alma"and Jimmy Rowles and Johnny Mercers "Morning Star."
Getz/Gilberto 76 brought more of the delicate and sensual bossa nova sounds heard on its namesake, one of my desert-island discs, while Moments in Time took me back to a smoky nightclub in St. Louis decades ago, where I heard Stan Getz play, his tenor sax just feet from my ears. Thank you, George Klabin and team, for the memories!
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