Down Beat - p.574 stars out of 5
-- "It elegantly fills a gap in Getz's youthful discography."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.1005 stars out of 5
-- "Getz's tenor sax is luxuriously smooth, silky and a model of emotional restraint, epitomising the West Coast cool jazz sound that he was the principal architect of."
Personnel: Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Raney (guitar); Tony Fruscella (trumpet); Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone); Duke Jordan, Jimmy Rowles, John Williams (piano); Frank Isola, Al Levitt, Max Roach (drums).
Liner Note Author: Ashley Kahn.
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (01/23/1954); New York, NY (01/23/1954); Los Angeles, CA (01/31/1955); New York, NY (01/31/1955); Los Angeles, CA (07/30/1953); New York, NY (07/30/1953); Los Angeles, CA (08/15/1953); New York, NY (08/15/1953); Los Angeles, CA (08/22/1953); New York, NY (08/22/1953); Los Angeles, CA (11/09/1954); New York, NY (11/09/1954); Los Angeles, CA (12/12/1952); New York, NY (12/12/1952); Los Angeles, CA (12/29/1952); New York, NY (12/29/1952).
Basically, what you see is what you get: all of the recordings Stan Getz did for the Norgran and Clef between December of 1952 and January of 1955. Most of this material has been issued several times -- at least -- by numerous labels legally and illegally. What makes the Hip-O Select set the definitive issue is, besides proper licensing, that all of these cuts, the 10" albums -- Stan Getz Plays, The Artistry of Stan Getz, all three Interpretations volumes, and Stan Getz & the Cool Sounds -- along with all the single and EP releases for a total of 45 sides -- three of them previously unreleased -- and a pair of studio cuts that appeared on the otherwise live Stan Getz at the Shrine appear in chronological order. The vast majority of these sessions were recorded with quintets. The membership of these Getz bands featured Bob Brookmeyer on all but the last where he is replaced by Tony Fruscella, pianist John Williams (though Duke Jordan appears on the earliest of these tracks with guitarist Jimmy Raney), bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Frank Isola. Six performances were recorded by a quartet that included pianist Jimmy Rowles, drummer Max Roach, and bassist Bob Whitlock. Two of them, alternate takes of "I Hadn't Anyone 'Til You," and "Nobody But You" are previously unissued. The other unreleased cut is an alternate take of "It Don't Mean Thing," recorded with the quintet during August of 1953. The liner notes by Ashley Khan offer a typically excellent historical titime linef the sessions and the relationship between Norman Granz and Getz during during a fruitful but chaotic period in the saxophonist's life personally and professionally, without editorializing. They also include a painstaking sessionography, photographs of single labels, and album covers with the three discs presented in heavy cardboard adorned with original cover art; all of it housed handsomely in a slipcase. The remastered sound is warm and full; exponentially better than it appears anywhere else. For real Getz collectors, the set is a necessity. ~ Thom Jurek