Stan Getz (born Stanley Gayetski; February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991)
was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor
saxophone, Getz was known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical
tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol,
Lester Young. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody
Herman's big band, Getz is described by critic
Scott Yanow as "one of
the all-time great tenor saxophonists". Getz performed in bebop and
cool jazz groups. Influenced by
João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos
Jobim, he popularized bossa nova in America with the hit single "The
Girl from Ipanema" (1964).
1 Early life
3 Personal life
8 External links
Getz was born Stanley Gayetski on February 2, 1927, at St. Vincent's
Hospital in Philadelphia. His grandparents Harris and Beckie Gayetski
were from the
Kiev area of
Russian Empire but migrated to Whitechapel,
in the East End of London and owned the Harris Tailor Shop at 52
Oxford Street for more than 13 years. In 1913, Harris and Beckie
emigrated to the United States with their three sons Al, Phil, and Ben
after their son Louis Gayetski in 1912 (Getz's father Al was born in
Mile End, London, England in 1904 and his mother Goldie Yampolsky in
Philadelphia in 1907).
The Getz family first settled in Philadelphia, but during the
Depression the family moved to New York City, seeking better
employment opportunities. Getz worked hard in school, receiving
straight As, and finished sixth grade close to the top of his class.
Getz's major interest was in musical instruments and he played a
number of them before his father bought him his first saxophone at the
age of 13. Even though his father also got him a clarinet, Getz
instantly fell in love with the saxophone and began practicing eight
hours a day.
He attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx. In 1941, he was
accepted into the All City High School Orchestra of New York City.
This gave him a chance to receive private, free tutoring from the New
York Philharmonic's Simon Kovar, a bassoon player. He also continued
playing the saxophone. He eventually dropped out of school in order to
pursue his musical career, but was later sent back to the classroom by
the school system's truancy officers.
In 1943 at the age of 16, he was accepted into Jack Teagarden's
band, and because of his youth he became Teagarden's ward. Getz also
played along with
Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole and Lionel Hampton. After playing for
Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman, Getz was a soloist with
Woody Herman from 1947 to 1949 in "The Second Herd", and he first
gained wide attention as one of the band's saxophonists, who were
known collectively as "The Four Brothers", the others being Serge
Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward. With Herman, he had a hit
with "Early Autumn" and after Getz left "The Second Herd" he was able
to launch his solo career. He was the leader on almost all of his
recording sessions after 1950.
Getz's reputation was greatly enhanced by his featured performance on
Johnny Smith's 1952 album Moonlight in Vermont, that year's top jazz
album. The single of the title tune became a hit that stayed on the
charts for months.
In the mid to late 1950s working from Scandinavia, Getz became popular
playing cool jazz with Horace Silver, Johnny Smith, Oscar Peterson,
and many others. His first two quintets were notable for their
personnel, including Charlie Parker's rhythm section of drummer Roy
Al Haig and bassist Tommy Potter. A 1953 line-up of
the Dizzy Gillespie/
Stan Getz Sextet featured Gillespie, Getz,
Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Max Roach.
Returning to the U.S. from Europe in 1961, Getz became a central
figure in introducing bossa nova music to the American audience.
Teaming with guitarist Charlie Byrd, who had just returned from a U.S.
State Department tour of Brazil, Getz recorded
Jazz Samba in 1962 and
it quickly became a hit. Getz won the Grammy for Best
of 1963 for "Desafinado", from the same album. It sold over one
million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. His second bossa nova
album, also recorded in 1962, was Big Band Bossa Nova with composer
and arranger Gary McFarland. As a follow-up, Getz recorded the album,
Jazz Samba Encore!, with one of the originators of bossa nova,
Brazilian guitarist Luiz Bonfá. It also sold more than a million
copies by 1964, giving Getz his second gold disc.
He then recorded the album Getz/Gilberto, in 1963, with Antônio
João Gilberto and his wife, Astrud Gilberto. Their "The
Girl from Ipanema" won a Grammy Award. The piece became one of the
Latin jazz tracks.
Getz/Gilberto won two Grammys (Best
Album and Best Single). A live album,
Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2, followed,
Getz Au Go Go
Getz Au Go Go (1964), a live recording at the Cafe au Go Go.
Getz's love affair with
Astrud Gilberto brought an end to his musical
partnership with her and her husband, and he began to move away from
bossa nova and back to cool jazz. While still working with the
Gilbertos, he recorded the jazz album Nobody Else but Me (1964), with
a new quartet including vibraphonist Gary Burton, but Verve Records,
wishing to continue building the Getz brand with bossa nova, refused
to release it. It came out 30 years later, after Getz had died.
In 1972, Getz recorded in the fusion idiom with Chick Corea, Tony
Williams and Stanley Clarke, and in this period experimented with an
Echoplex on his saxophone. He had a cameo in the film The Exterminator
In the mid-1980s Getz worked regularly in the San Francisco Bay area
and taught at Stanford University as an artist-in-residence at the
Jazz Workshop until 1988. In 1986, he was inducted into
Jazz Hall of Fame. During 1988, Getz worked with Huey
Lewis and the News on their Small World album. He played the extended
solo on part 2 of the title track, which became a minor hit single.
His tenor saxophone of choice was the Selmer Mark VI.
With his granddaughter Katie in 1987 at the Lincoln Center
Getz married Beverly Byrne, a vocalist with the
Gene Krupa band, on
November 7, 1946 in Los Angeles; they had three children together,
Steve, David and Beverly.
As a teenager, Getz had become involved with drugs and alcohol. In
1954, he was arrested for attempting to rob a pharmacy for morphine.
As he was being processed in the prison ward of Los Angeles County-USC
Medical Center, Beverly gave birth to their third child one floor
below. Immediately after his divorce from Byrne in Nevada on November
3, 1956, he married Monica Silfverskiöld, daughter of Swedish
physician and former Olympic medalist Nils Silfverskiöld. They had
two children, Pamela and Nicolaus. The pair lived in Copenhagen,
Denmark, partly to escape Getz's legal problems.
Getz was abusive towards his children and occasionally towards
Monica. He filed for divorce in 1981 but the petition was not
granted until 1987. In 1990 Monica Getz petitioned the United
States Supreme Court to have their divorce verdict overturned. New
York State law required that settlement agreements be heard in trial
court instead of family court. Monica claimed that the law
discriminated against women who, like her, could be bankrupted by
paying trial lawyers. The Supreme Court declined to hear the
case. Zoot Sims, who had known Getz since their time with Herman,
once described him as "a nice bunch of guys", alluding to the wide
range of his personality.
Getz died of liver cancer on June 6, 1991. His ashes were poured from
his saxophone case six miles off the coast of Marina del Rey,
California, by his grandson, Chris.
In 1998, the
Stan Getz Media Center and Library at Berklee College of
Music was dedicated through a donation from the Herb Alpert
Stan Getz discography
Grammy Award for Best
Jazz Performance, Soloist or Small Group
(Instrumental) "Desafinado", 1962
Grammy Award for Record of the Year, "The Girl from Ipanema", 1964
Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Getz/Gilberto,
Stan Getz and João
Gilberto (Verve) 1964
Grammy Award for Best Instrumental
Jazz Performance, Small Group or
Soloist With Small Group, Getz/Gilberto,
Stan Getz 1964
Grammy Award for Best
Jazz Solo Performance, "I Remember You",
Astrup, Arne. The
Stan Getz Discography, 1978.
Churchill, Nicholas. Stan Getz: An Annotated Bibliography and
Gelly, Dave. Stan Getz: Nobody Else But Me, 2002.
Kirkpatrick, Ron. Stan Getz: An Appreciation of His Recorded Work,
Maggin, Donald L. (1996). Stan Getz. A Life in Jazz. New York: William
Morrow. ISBN 0-688-15555-3.
Palmer, Richard. Stan Getz, 1988.
Jazz Saxophone: An In-depth Look at the Styles of the
Tenor Masters, 2004.
^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Stan Getz". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23,
^ a b Pbs.org "Oxford University Press" PBS –
Jazz – A film By Ken
^ Eric Schneider (1952-03-11). "Moonlight in Vermont - Johnny Smith,
Johnny Smith Quintet Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic.
^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.).
London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 146–147.
^ page 208 of "italic" The Latin Beat "italic" by Ed Morales
^ "Stan Getz". NNDb.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
^ "Monica Getz". Lund University Foundation. Lund University
Foundation. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
^ a b c Margolick, David (26 November 1990). "Ex-Wife of Stan Getz
Testing a Divorce Law". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
^ a b Watrous, Peter (7 June 1991). "Stan Getz, 64, Saxophonist, Dies;
A Melodist With His Own Sound". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March
^ a b Inc, Nielsen Business Media (2000-02-05). Billboard. Nielsen
Business Media, Inc.
^ "7th Annual GRAMMY Awards". GRAMMY.com. 2013-01-17. Retrieved
^ Jazz, All About. "Stan Getz: Spring 1976". All About Jazz. Retrieved
Stan Getz Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
Stan Getz homepage
Moonlight in Vermont (1952)
Diz and Getz (1953)
Stan Getz Plays
Stan Getz Plays (1955)
Hamp and Getz
Hamp and Getz with
Lionel Hampton (1955)
Stan Getz in Stockholm
Stan Getz in Stockholm (1955)
For Musicians Only (1956)
The Soft Swing
The Soft Swing (1957)
Jazz Giants '58 (1957)
Stan Getz (1957)
Stan Getz and the
Oscar Peterson Trio with
Oscar Peterson (1957)
Gerry Mulligan Meets Stan Getz
Gerry Mulligan Meets Stan Getz with
Gerry Mulligan (1957)
Like Someone in Love (1957)
Stan Meets Chet
Stan Meets Chet with
Chet Baker (1958)
Cool Velvet (1960)
Recorded Fall 1961
Recorded Fall 1961 (1961)
Jazz Samba (1962)
Big Band Bossa Nova (1962)
Jazz Samba Encore! (1963)
Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida
Stan Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida (1963)
Stan Getz & Bill Evans (1964)
Bob Brookmeyer and Friends (1964)
Sweet Rain (1967)
Didn't We (1969)
Captain Marvel (1972)
But Beautiful (1974)
The Best of Two Worlds
The Best of Two Worlds Featuring
João Gilberto (1976)
Nobody Else But Me (1994)
Bossas & Ballads – The Lost Sessions (2003)
People Time: The Complete Recordings (2010)
West Coast Live (1953)
Stan Getz at The Shrine
Stan Getz at The Shrine (1954)
Stan Getz and J. J. Johnson at the Opera House
Stan Getz and J. J. Johnson at the Opera House with J. J. Johnson
At the Opera House
At the Opera House (1957)
Getz Au Go Go
Getz Au Go Go (1964)
Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 (1966)
Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band
Muvaffak "Maffy" Falay
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Ack van Rooyen
Erik van Lier
Jazz Is Universal (1962)
Handle with Care (1963)
Now Hear Our Meanin'
Now Hear Our Meanin' (1965)
Swing, Waltz, Swing
Swing, Waltz, Swing (1966)
Sax No End
Sax No End (1967)
Out of the Folk Bag
Out of the Folk Bag (1967)
17 Men and Their Music
17 Men and Their Music (1967)
All Smiles (1968)
Latin Kaleidoscope (1968)
Fellini 712 (1969)
All Blues (1969)
More Smiles (1969)
Off Limits (1970)
November Girl (1970)
Change of Scenes
Change of Scenes (1971)
Clarke Boland Big Band en Concert avec Europe 1
Clarke Boland Big Band en Concert avec Europe 1 (1969)
Bohemia After Dark (1955)
The Golden 8
The Golden 8 (1961)
Americans in Europe
Americans in Europe Vol. 1 (1963)
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