Compact Jazz: Stan Getz with Strings

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Stan Getz
LABELS: Verve
WORKS: Stan Getz with Strings
PERFORMER: Stan Getz (tenor sax)/various string aggregations
CATALOGUE NO: 513 631-2

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Jazz soloist and string collaborations have always been variable, and even Stan Getz, the archetypal, sweet- toned tenor player cannot quite rise above the inherent problems. The difficulty lies in whether the strings should be given a full interactive, role – as in the stunningly successful selections from Focus (arranged and composed by Eddie Sauter) and Michel Legrand’s less happy ‘Communication ’72’ – or relegated to purveyors of prettiness behind a jazz group.

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There’s a fair amount of the latter here, though Getz’s lush romanticism redeems those tracks taken from ‘Cool Velvet’ and ‘Didn’t We’. More interesting is Gunther Schuller’s third-stream experiment (The Modern Jazz Society), but overall, Getz is at his superb best, Focus apart, in a quartet setting. Chris Parker