Stan Getz

Tenor Saxophonist, Jazz Composer (1927, Philadelphie - 1991, Malibu)

Stan Getz is largely considered to have been one of the greatest jazz saxophonists. He was part of the "cool jazz" movement and known for his style of playing.

Stan Getz was born Stanley Gayetzsky on February the 2nd, 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was nicknamed "The Sound" in reference to the timbre of his playing. He began playing the tenor saxophone as a teenager and studied in California with Dick Rogers. In 1943, he went to New York to play in the Jack Teagarden orchestra. Then, in 1947, he joined the Four Brothers, a reed ensemble led by Woody Herman, playing alongside Zoot Sims, Herbie Steward and Serge Chaloff. Stan Getz and his contemporaries adopted a "cool" style inspired by their predecessor Lester Young. Stan Getz's music evolved throughout his career, with him exploring both jazz standards and bossa nova. In 1950, he recorded alongside Horace Silver and Al Haig for the Roots label. His growing fame led him to play with renowned jazz artists such as Dizzie Gillespie and Chet Baker. In 1956, to escape his addictions to various drugs, the saxophonist decided to go into exile and settled in Denmark. The following year, he participated in JATP concerts at the Chicago Opera House with Jay Jay Johnson and Oscar Peterson.

In the 1960s, he met João Gilberto, the father of bossa nova, and became very passionate about the style. They recorded together in 1963, creating the famous Getz / Gilberto record which went on to receive three Grammy Awards in 1965, "Album of the Year", "Best Instrumental Jazz Album" and "Best Engineered album design, non-classical ". It was the first time in Grammy history that a jazz album had been awarded "Album of the Year".  The album featured The Girl from Ipanema, in what was to become the best known version of the piece. Stan Getz then began to experiment with new genres, such as Jazz-Rock fusion and Hard bop. He discovered new talent in Brazil and the United States and played with many musicians. Stan Getz died of liver cancer in 1991 in Malibu at the age of 64, having recorded more than 150 albums in less than 40 years.

Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Stan Getz 

1943  : Was scouted by Jack Teagarden and becomes part of his orchestra
1947  : Began playing with the Four Brothers
1962  : Discovered Bossa Nova
1965  : His album Getz/Gilberto won several Grammy Awards
1980  : Returned to more acoustic sounds, notably in his album Pure Getz
1991  : Performed at "Jazzhus Montmartre" in Copenhague with Kenny Barron a few months before his death