Sunday, 19 December 2010


Couple of new discs managed to find their way into my collection this week, and both have proved to be pretty rewarding contributions.
One in particular: Stan Getz "Live at Midem 1980".  "Midem" being a recording industry "get together" in Cannes. According to the pretty sparse sleeve notes this was a one off gig. Every year at the Midem convention there is a "guest artist" who does a gig in front of peers and contemporaries (which may explain why the producer of this album is Lionel Hampton). Getz flew in, did the gig... and flew home again (a 72 hour round trip). Apparently problems with the 24 bit recorder almost meant this concert wasn't captured, but luckily, the problems were resolved at the last minute.
Bit of a different Getz outing this one. It sees him with a younger band than usual, and sees him "dabble" in a bit of near fusion-like jazz. Though for me the eleven and a half minute cover of Parker's Billie's Bounce, with guest appearances by Paul Horn on flute and a harmonica player called "Sugar Blue"(?) who, apparently plays/played with the Rolling Stones, really hits the spot.
Many, many people (me included) talk about Getz's distinct "velvety" sound. But the truth is, like most jazz musicians, with any longevity he had numerous "sounds". I've never really heard a Getz sound that I didn't like. Even his brief forays into fusion, like this, or "soul/pop" (Apasionado) offer the listener something to "think about" and work at. Even at his "coolest" or most laid back his recordings always seem to offer a little more than just pretty musical wallpapers. For me the work he did that gets closest to being "bland" is his Bossa Nova period which ironically is his best known and most commercial stuff.
This particular CD only has 5 numbers on it weighing in at a mere 44 minutes. Though a wee trawl through the murky depths of t'internet suggests that this concert was fairly extensive and other, fuller CD releases of it are out there somewhere.
Something to keep an eye out for.

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