Top Artists – Stan Getz

Getz Au Go Go – A Bossa Nova Classic

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  • Truly superb sound for this incredible recording, Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • Amazingly present, immediate and REAL — musically and sonically, this is one of our favorite jazz albums
  • This is an incredibly tough album to find with the right sound and decent surfaces, which is the main reason it’s been years since we did the shootout
  • 4 stars on Allmusic: “Highly recommended for all dimensions of jazz enthusiasts.” [We would of course give it the full 5 Stars]

This Stan Getz record has the kind of LIVE JAZZ CLUB SOUND that audiophiles like us (you and me) dream of. More importantly, this ain’t no Jazz at Some Stupid Pawnshop — this is THE REAL THING. Stan Getz, Gary Burton, Kenny Burrell and the lovely Astrud Gilberto, the living embodiment of Cool Jazz, are coming to a listening room near you.

This is about as good a copy as has ever hit the site. Fans of cool jazz — in point of fact, some of the coolest jazz ever recorded — take note. 

Cool Jazz Is Right

I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of this Getz album than any other, including those that are much more famous such as Getz/Gilberto (which doesn’t sound as good by the way). This one is (mostly) live in a nightclub and it immediately puts you in the right mood to hear this kind of jazz.

Listening to side one I’m struck with the idea that this is the coolest jazz record of cool jazz ever recorded. Getz’s take on Summertime is a perfect example of his “feel” during these sessions. His playing is pure emotion; every note seems to come directly from his heart.

What really sets these performances apart is the relaxed quality of the playing. He seems to be almost nonchalant, but it’s not a bored or disinterested sound he’s making. It’s more of a man completely comfortable in this live setting, surrounded by like-minded musicians, all communicating the same vibe. Perhaps they all got hold of some really good grass that day. That’s the feeling one gets from their playing. As one is listening, there’s a certain euphoria that seems to be part of the music. This is definitely one of those albums to get lost in. (more…)

Bob Brookmeyer – Bob Brookmeyer And Friends

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  • This original Black Print 360 pressing was one of the best we played in our recent shootout, earning Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides and playing quietly
  • Stan Getz is the real standout on this album, a very pleasant surprise for us since his exceptionally good recordings of his music are so hard to find
  • Another example of the phenomenal sound quality found on so many recordings made at CBS’s 30th street studios in New York
  • “Stan Getz, known for his ‘lyrical’ style, is in top form throughout and brings out the best of his cohorts, including two young musicians, Gary Burton on vibes and Herbie Hancock on keyboards…” 

If you like the sound of relaxed, tube-mastered jazz — and what red blooded audiophile doesn’t — you can’t do much better than Bob Brookmeyer And Friends. The warmth and immediacy of the sound here are guaranteed to blow practically any jazz septet record you own right out of the water.

Getz and Burton have always been magical together. Their work on Getz Au Go Go is legendary. Every time I play that record I am astonished at how good it is, one of those very special jazz recordings that are easy to get lost in. (more…)

Stan Getz – What The World Needs Now

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  • This 1968 jazz classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Stan interprets these songs beautifully – for those who don’t mind a bit of easy listening from time to time, this is music worth playing
  • Another top jazz recording from Rudy Van Gelder – big, bold and lively, just the right sound for this music
  • “Forget those snobs who dismiss this album, Getz does a wonderful job interpreting some of Bacharach’s hits. He ‘jazzes’ up ‘A House is not a Home’ with a nice upbeat tempo and ‘Alfie’ is lush with his wonderful tenor sax.”

As expected, if you clean and play enough copies of a standard domestic major label album like this Verve, sooner or later you will stumble upon a good one. The best copies are filled with studio ambience, with every instrument occupying its own space in the mix and surrounded by air. On those pressings, there is not a trace of grain, just the silky sweet highs we’ve come to expect from analog done right.

This is, of course, the premise behind Hot Stampers themselves. They are out there to be stumbled upon. You can’t tell what pressing, from what era, from what country is going to be The One (Keanu, are you listening?) until you actually sit down, clean and play a big pile of them.

This vintage Verve pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of What The World Needs Now have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1968
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We’re Listening For on What The World Needs Now

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players and Personnel

Jim Buffington – French horn
Jerome Richardson – woodwinds
Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock – piano
Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Phil Upchurch – guitar
Gloria Agostini – harp
Walter Booker, Ron Carter – bass
David Carey – vibraphone
Bill Horwath – cimbalom
Roy Haynes, Grady Tate – drums
Paul Gershman, David Mankovitz, David Nadien, Gerald Tarack – violin
Bernard Zaslav – viola
Charles McCracken – cello
Additional unidentified brass, strings and chorus arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman and Richard Evans

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Wives And Lovers
Windows Of The World
The Look Of Love
Any Old Time Of The Day
Alfie
In Times Like These

Side Two

A House Is Not A Home
Trains And Boats And Planes
What The World Needs Now Is Love
In Between The Heartaches
Walk On By

Amazon Review

Forget those snobs who dismiss this album, Getz does a wonderful job interpreting some of Bacharach’s hits. He “jazzes” up A House is not a Home” with a nice upbeat tempo and “Alfie” is lush with his wonderful tenor sax. No, this isn’t Getz with Gilberto swooning “Girl from Impanema”, but it’s still classic Getz. I’m listening to this on vinyl and it’s a beautifully recorded album. Put it on as background music during a house party and watch your guests sway to “In Between the Heartaches” or start to sing “Walk On By” while doing the rumba! Buy this album and enjoy the wonderful tenor sax as only Getz can play it.

Fotoram

Stan Getz – Getz with Almeida

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  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner – reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • Another Getz Bossa Nova Classic, recorded immediately after Getz/Gilberto, with comparable sound quality from Val Valentin’s All Tube Recording Chain
  • “Continuing his practice of running through one star guitarist after another, this time Getz has Laurindo Almeida as the designated rhythm man, featured composer, and solo foil. Jobim’s “Outra Vez” is a particularly lovely example of Getz’s freedom and effortless lyricism contrasted against Almeida’s anchored embroidering. [I]n the long view, one should be thankful that these musicians were recording so much cherishable material.”

(more…)

Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

TWO INCREDIBLE SIDES on unusually quiet vinyl! We just finished a big shootout for this great album and this copy was a KNOCKOUT. The sound is rich and full with good size to the soundfield. It’s very tough to find good sounding Stan Getz records, so if you’re a fan I think you’ll be quite impressed with the sonics on this pressing. As for the music, it’s top notch; All Music Guide gave it a Five Star rating and we agree wholeheartedly!

It’s not easy to find good sounding, quiet Stan Getz records, so if you’re a fan I think you’ll be blown away by the sonics and the surfaces on this vintage pressing.

It’s vintage all right, but probably not the vintage pressing you think it is, a little secret we learned about the album a year or two ago, information we have been able to capitalize on quite successfully, this being but the latest clean, wonderful sounding copy to make it to the site.

And of course, it handily beats the the DCC pressing. How could it not? (more…)

Stan Getz – Getz Au Go Go – Critical Listening Exercise

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

This album is useful as a test disc. The third track on side 2, The Telephone Song, has a breathy vocal by Astrud, soon followed by Getz’s saxophone solo. If those two elements in the recording are in balance, your system is working, tonally anyway.

Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

Track Commentary

Side One 

Corcovado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars) 

On the best copies the voice is perfection. The horn is always a bit hard sounding on this track though.

It Might As Well Be Spring

The best copies are warm, rich and sweet here, with much better sound for Getz’s sax. This track has some of the tubiest magic you will find on the album.

Eu E Voce (Me and You)
Summertime

This one has real dynamics — the playing and the sound are lively, but somehow still cool…

Nix-Quix-Flix

Side Two

Only Trust Your Heart
The Singing Song
The Telephone Song

The best song on side two, certainly the most fun, and a wonderful test track as mentioned earlier.

One Note Samba
Here’s That Rainy Day

This is one of Rudy Van Gelder’s greatest recordings. I think it’s as good as it is because he was out of his studio (mostly) and had to revert to Recording 101, where you set up some good mics and get the thing on tape as correctly as you can. There’s hardly a trace of his normal compression and bad EQ on this album. (The sax is problematical in places but most everyone else is right on the money.) (more…)

Stan Getz – Getz Au Go Go – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This WHITE Hot Stamper Stan Getz record has the kind of LIVE JAZZ CLUB SOUND that audiophiles like us (you and me) dream of. More importantly, this ain’t no Jazz at Some Pawnshop — this is THE REAL THING. Stan Getz, Gary Burton, Kenny Burrell and the lovely Astrud Gilberto, the living embodiment of Cool Jazz, are coming to a listening room near you (assuming you have two hundred and fifty bucks you’re not doing anything else with).

Side One

A+++. It’s White Hot — so relaxed and musical, spacious and transparent, this one will have your speakers disappearing before your very eyes. Or leave them open so that you can “see” the room before you. Getz’s sax is breathy, immediate and dynamic. There is no audiophile pressing in the world that gets that sound better than this copy, and we are happy to back up that statement with this very record.

Side Two

A++, big, rich and sweet, much like side one, but not quite as clear and not quite as smooth. Compare the two sides for yourself and we think you will hear what we mean.

Cool Jazz Is Right

I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of this Getz album than any other, including those that are much more famous such as Getz/Gilberto (which doesn’t sound as good by the way). This one is (mostly) live in a nightclub and it immediately puts you in the right mood to hear this kind of jazz. (more…)

Stan Getz – Jazz Classics – Reviewed in 2011

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The album contains tracks culled from two different sessions featuring a very young Stan Getz. The sound on the tracks taken from a 1953 session with the Jimmy Raney quintet (tracks one and two on both sides) is amazing! Energetic, tonally balanced, clean and clear — a great sounding Stan Getz recording!

Unfortunately, the tracks from the 1949 session with Terry Gibbs, while interesting historically, sound like old 78’s — not our cup of tea. (more…)

Gerry Mulligan & Stan Getz – Gerry Mulligan Meets Stan Getz – Reviewed in 2011

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This is a very nice looking Verve Trumpeter Label Mono LP from 1957. Side one is wonderful and has the better sound here. It has more extension up top; the baritone sax is especially well reproduced.

Both sides of course have somewhat tubby bass, the type that characterizes all tube recordings from the ’50s and ’60s. Side two is a bit more veiled. The midrange is as musical as it is on side one but has less top end and therefore comes across as kind of dull. Musical and involving, but not as lively as it could be.

Supposedly the stereo pressings of this album are full of added echo, which is the reason Steve Hoffman chose to release the mono version of the album on gold CD for DCC back in the day. It’s one of our favorite DCC CDs; Steve did his usual top quality mastering on it.

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz-Gilberto – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

We have been trying to find great sound (on reasonable surfaces) for this album for YEARS — I kid you not — but this 2-pack is the first Hot Stamper version to ever hit the site. We have fired up this shootout multiple times since 2006 and been left empty-handed each and every time until the last go-around. We have sunk an insane amount of dough into trying to get a few killer copies because we love the music so much, but we just haven’t had much to show for it. If you love this Brazilian-flavored cool jazz as much as we do, you might want to snap this one up because who knows when or if we’ll find another one.

Stan Getz is a truly great tenor saxophonist, the cool school’s most popular player. This LP is all the evidence you need. Side one has those wonderfully relaxed Brazilian tempos and the smooth sax stylings of Stan Getz. (more…)