Stan Getz : The 1953-54 Clef/Norgran Sessions

Stan Getz : The 1953-54 Clef/Norgran Sessions


Stan Getz (tenor sax), Bob Brookmeyer (trombone), John Williams, Jimmy Rowles (piano), Tony Fruscella (trumpet), Bill Crow, Teddy Kotick, Bob Whitlock, Bill Antony (bass), Al Levitt, Frank Isola, Max Roach (drums)

Mosaic 3003

Mosaic Records : 4 LPs 180 gram, box with booklet

Limited Edition

Brand New and Sealed Record

Discontinued : last copy available!...

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A1 - Have You Met Miss Jones
A2 - Erudition
A3 - Cool Mix
A4 - Rustic Hop
A5 - Love and the Weather
B1 - Spring Is Here
B2 - Pot Luck
B3 - Willow Weep For Me
B4 - Crazy Rhythm
B5 - The Nearness of You

C1 - Minor Blues
C2 - Fascinating Rhythm
C3 - I Didn't Know What Time It Was
D1 - 1. Tangerine
D2 - It Don't Mean A Thing
D3 - The Varsity Drag

E1 - Give Me the Simple Life
E2 - I'll Remember April
E3 - Oh Jane Snavely
F1 - We'll Be Together Again
F2 - Feather Merchant
F3 - Flamingo

G1 - It Don't Mean A Thing (alt. version)
G2 - Pot Luck (78 take) ***
G3 - Blue Bells
G4 - Round Up Time
H1 - Nobody Else But You
H2 - Down By the Sycamore Tree
H3 - I Hadn't Anyone Till You
H4 - With the Wind and the Rain In Your Hair
H5 - Nobody Else But You (alt. take)
H6 - I Hadn't Anyone Till You (alt. take)

Now, for the first time in decades, the 1953-1954 Clef & Norgran Studio Sessions from Stan Getz are available again on LP. Three alternate takes buried in the vaults, and a recording of “Pot Luck” initially released on 78 only, appear on LP for the first time ever. It’s a great retrospective of the music of a man who reached an almost unparalleled position in jazz and widespread, international celebrity. 

Getz’s relationship with Norman Granz began almost the night of his first big break as a leader, at a Carnegie Hall tribute to Duke Ellington. Performing an up-tempo version of “Moonlight in Vermont,” his easy-listening hit with Johnny Smith, Getz commanded the attention of jazz fans. With Granz, Getz would prove to be highly prolific. And the music? Some of the finest he would make in his career. 

As a child, Getz would practice up to eight hours a day, and he even tried to drop out of school to pursue music full time. He had to re-enroll, at least until the age of 16 when he joined Jack Teagarden’s band. Other bands, including Woody Herman’s, would follow, but Getz was a leader from the time he turned 23. Born the year Lester Young was striking out on his own, he created a modern version of his idol’s innovations on tenor saxophone. His touch was delicate, intimate, and caressing, but there was more drive. 

While his technical mastery of the instrument was second to none, Getz avoided the showy excesses of bebop and remained true to his roots with a lyrical approach and a coy manner of dragging the beat. He would become an influence himself on a generation of musicians seduced by the “cool” jazz movement -- the reaction to bop. 

The group on these Norgran sessions was a real working band, and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer’s soloing ability was up to the task of matching Getz’s standards. His musical pairing with Brookmeyer was one of those inspired arrangements that produced exceptional music. Brookmeyer’s tone was warm and dry, like Getz’s, but the blend they created was only partially about the sonic affinity they shared. They were entirely on the same wavelength when it came to developing and expressing musical ideas – almost like the same guy picking up a different instrument. Credit Getz’s personal sound and free-flowing musical ideas for what identifies this music, but not without equal credit to the byplay with Brookmeyer. 

The quintet of this era also included the excellent John Williams on piano, and briefly after Brookmeyer left to join Gerry Mulligan, Tony Fruscella on trumpet. Drummer Al Levitt or Frank Isola and bassist Bill Crow, Teddy Kotick or Bill Anthony round out the line-up. Our set also includes an excellent quartet date with Jimmy Rowles, Bob Whitlock and Max Roach recorded midway through the quintet’s life. 

As was common on Granz projects that often featured highlights of the great American songbook, there are many well-known selections included in this release, such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “I’ll Remember April,” “Give Me The Simple Life,” “Willow Weep For Me,” “We’ll Be Together Again” and many more. 

Four LPs comprise our box set, with 26 tracks arranged by session and accompanied by our exclusive Mosaic booklet. It includes an essay by Ashley Kahn with track-by-track analysis and a complete discography. Photos from the era capture the magic as they were making it. . The 180-gram pressings of this 4-LP set were mastered from analog sources using the original Clef/Norgran master tapes for unparalleled sound. 

Much of this music has been unavailable for decades, and to LP buyers, never before released in coherent form. It’s a rare opportunity to hear a young, acknowledged master in top form. Please reserve a copy of this exciting, highly collectible set to avoid a gap in your collection. 

"Like many of his generation, Getz was drawn to the subdued, airy tone and relaxed phrasing of Lester Young, and found a way to combine it with the advancements of bebop. His triumph was in forging a musical signature that remained fresh and stylistically flexible, even as new styles and musical ideas came and went." - Ashley Khan, liner notes 

"Once you start, you'll find it difficult to stop the side-turning until the last side ends. A great set every vinyl-loving Getz fan should own." - Michael Fremer 

*** Producer's Note: The original full-track mono masters were used in the creation of the masters for this set with one exception. No tape exists on the 78 take of Pot Luck. This tune was transferred from a 78 rpm pressing by Kevin Reeves.

This Mosaic Records LPs set was remastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Sound, using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed on virgin vinyl at RTI.