Stan Getz Quartet At Large: The Complete Sessions

Reissue adds Stockholm airshots to the 1960 album that might have inspired Coltrane to say 'We’d all sound like that - if we could'


This reissue features all the recordings made during the 1960 sessions that produced the double LP Stan Getz At Large. American Jazz Classics has also included nine additional titles including material from an extremely rare broadcast from Stockholm, Sweden. My well-thumbed 1991 Arne Astrup New Revised Stan Getz Discography reveals that this was the only time he recorded When The Sun Comes Out, He Was Too Good To Me, In The Night, Café Montmartre Blues and Younger Than Springtime.

As Getz was a masterful ballad performer the first three titles were perfect vehicles for him. Oscar Pettiford’s Café Montmartre Blues refers to a lengthy residency he and Stan had enjoyed at Copenhagen’s Jazzhus Montmartre in the late 50s where they became close friends. Younger Than Springtime is taken at a sprightly, foot-tapping tempo perfectly in keeping with the delightful optimism of Hammerstein’s lyric.

From Night And Day’s opening, which is taken at a relaxed foxtrot tempo, it is clear that we are in the hands of a master. It has an unusual 48-bar sequence and Getz’s four choruses spin a series of lyrical variations around Cole Porter’s classic that end all too soon. It’s so perfectly structured he might be reading a score. Performances like this might have inspired John Coltrane’s oft-quoted remark “Let’s face it, we’d all sound like that – if we could.”

Along the way he doffs his cap to some of the new jazz originals like Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way, Al Cohn’s Ah-Moore, Benny Golson’s I Remember Clifford, Duke Jordan’s Jordu and Lands End by Harold Land. He also revisits Dear Old Stockholm, which is based on a traditional Swedish folk song he had introduced in 1951.

After more than two years in Europe Getz returned to the USA in January 1961. Two major projects were just around the corner: He recorded Focus with Eddie Sauter six months later, considering it to be his “masterpiece”. This was followed by Jazz Samba in February 1962 which became so commercially successful it helped to put all five of his children through college.

CD1: (1) Night And Day; Pammie’s Tune; I Like To Recognise The Tune; When The Sun Comes Out; In Your Own Sweet Way; Café Montmartre Blues; Goodbye; A New Town Is A Blue Town; Just A Child; The Folks Who Live On The Hill; Ah-Moore; Land’s End (74.46)
CD2; He Was Too Good To Me; Younger Than Springtime; In The Night; Born To Be Blue; The Thrill Is Gone; (2) Stairway To The Stars; Jordu; Ah-Moore; (3) Just You, Just Me; I Remember Clifford; (4) Born To Be Blue; Dear Old Stockholm; Ah-Moore; Move (78.24)
Getz (ts) with:
(1) Jan Johansson (p); Dan Jordan (b); William Schiopffe (d). Copenhagen, Denmark, 14 & 15 January 1960.
(2) Johansson (p); George Riedel (b); Joe Harris (d). Stockholm, Sweden, 6 July 1959.
(3) Johansson (p); Ray Brown (b); Ed Thigpen (d). Stockholm, 22 March 1960.
(4) as (2) but Sture Nordin (b) replaces Jordan. Stockholm, 1 May 1960.
American Jazz Classics 99152