musicians & composers
  • Register

Stan Getz

stan_getzStanley Getz (February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia – June 6, 1991 in Malibu, California), usually known by his stage name Stan Getz, was an American jazz musician. Known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical tone, Getz's prime influence was the wispy, mellow tone of his idol, Lester Young. In 1986, however, Getz said: "I never consciously tried to conceive of what my sound should be..."

Life and work

Stan Getz was born on February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia. Stan's younger brother Robert was born in 1932. His parents were Ukrainian-Jews who immigrated from the Kiev area in the Ukraine in 1903. The family later moved to New York City for better jobs. Stan worked hard in school receiving straight "A's" on average and finished 6th grade close to the top of his class. Stan's major interest was in musical instruments, and he felt a need to play every instrument in his sight. He played a number of instruments before his father bought him his first saxophone at the age of 13. Even though his father also got him a clarinet, Stan instantly fell in love with the saxophone and began practicing 8 hours a day. In 1941, he was accepted into the All City High School Orchestra of New York City. This gave Stan a chance to receive a private, free tutor from the New York Philharmonic, Simon Kovar - a bassoon player. He also began to spend more time 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.stan getz

In 1943, 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 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 Chaloff, 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 would be the leader on almost all of his recording sessions after 1950.

In the 1950s, 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 Haynes, pianist Al Haig and bassist Tommy Potter. A 1953 line-up of the Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz Sextet featured Gillespie, Getz, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Max Roach.

Returning to America from Europe in 1961, Getz became a central figure in Bossa nova. Along with Charlie Byrd, who had just returned from a U.S. State Department tour of Brazil, Getz recorded Jazz Samba in 1962 and it became a hit. The title track was an adaptation of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Samba de Uma Nota So" (One Note Samba). Getz won the Grammy for Best Jazz Performance of 1963 for "Desafinado".

He then recorded with Tom Jobim, Joao Gilberto and his wife, Astrud Gilberto. Their "The Girl from Ipanema" won a Grammy Award. The title piece became one of the most well-known latin jazz pieces of all time. Getz/Gilberto won two Grammys (Best Album and Best Single), besting The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, a victory for Bossa Nova and Brazilian jazz. Unfortunately, Getz' affair with Astrud Gilberto brought an end to his musical partnership with her and her husband and slowly he began to move away from bossa-nova and back to cool jazz. Even while still working with the Gilbertos, he recorded Nobody Else But Me an album of straightforward jazz 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 eventually came out 30 years later, after Getz had died.stan getz

In 1972, Getz recorded in the fusion idiom with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. This group, without Getz, went on to be the famous Return to Forever, and many of the pieces including "La Fiesta" remained in their repertoire. In this period Getz experimented with an Echoplex on his saxophone, for which critics vilified him. He eventually discarded fusion and "electric jazz", returning to acoustic jazz, while at the same time gradually de-emphasizing the Bossa Nova, opting for more esoteric and less-mainstream jazz. He had a cameo in the movie The Exterminator (1980).

Towards the end of his life the now drug-free Getz had another creative peak with a group including the pianist Kenny Barron, whom Getz described as "my musical other half".

Private life

Getz married Beverly Byrne, a vocalist with the Gene Krupa band, on 7 November 1946; they had three children together: Steven, David, and Beverly.

Getz became involved with drugs and alcohol while a teenager. In 1954, he was arrested for attempting to rob a pharmacy to get a morphine fix. 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.

Getz tried to escape his narcotics addiction by moving to Copenhagen. He married Swedish aristocrat Monica Silfverskiold on 3 November 1956 and had two children with her: Pamela and Nicolas. In 1957 Swedish girlfriend Inga Torgner gave birth to a son Peter. Stan divorced Monica in 1987.Stan Getz

Zoot Sims, who had known Getz since their time with Herman, once described him as 'a nice bunch of guys', as a consequence of the wide behavioural range of which Getz was capable. In the final stages of his life Getz was able to end his addictions.

Getz died of liver cancer in 1991. In 1998 the 'Stan Getz Media Center and Library' at the Berklee College of Music was dedicated through a donation from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Quotations regarding Getz

Flawless technique, perfect time, strong melodic sense and more than enough harmonic expertise, fabulous memory, and great ears. Add a superb sense of dynamics, pacing, and format. Top this off with a sound of pure gold and you have Stan Getz.

— pianist Lou Levy

We’d all play like that . . . if we could.

— John Coltrane

I never consciously tried to conceive of what my sound should be...I never tried to imitate anybody, but when you love somebody’s music, you’re influenced...I really don’t know how I developed my sound, but it comes from a combination of my musical conception and no doubt the basic shape of the oral cavity...

— Stan Getz

People think that I play effortlessly. I remember doing a record date with Bill Evans and afterwards he said to me, you make it sound so easy but when I get right up next to you you’re working hard and making it sound easy!

— Stan Getz


* "Early Autumn" on YouTube (with unrelated video)
* "We'll Be Together Again" on YouTube

Complete Discography

* Jack Teagarden - AFRS Spotlight Bands (1943)
* Stan Kenton (1944)
* Benny Goodman - Collector's Gems 1929-1945
* Benny Goodman - Rare Big Band Gems 1932-1947
* V.A. - Loaded (1946) - w Vido Musso
* Stan Getz - Opus De Bop (1946)
* Stan Getz - Jazz Big Bands V.S.O.P. Swing And Bop (1946)
* V.A. - Opus De Bop (1947 - The age of 20)
* One Night Stand With Vido Musso (1947 - The age of 20)
* Woody Herman - Twelve Shades Of Blue (1947 - The age of 20)
* Stan Getz - Big Bands, Louis Bellson, Mils Blue Rhythm Band (1947 - The age of 20)
* Stan Getz - Groovin' High (1948)
* Woody Herman - The Thundering Herds (1948)
* Al Haig Meets The Master Saxes, Vol. 2 (1948)
* V.A. - A Look At Yesterday (1948)
* V.A. - Yesterday (1948)
* Woody Herman - The Great Big Band (1948)

* Stan Getz - Early Stan (1949/1953) - compilation of 9 tracks recorded in 1949 under the leadership of Terry Gibbs and 4 tracks from 1953 under the leadership of Jimmy Raney. Stan is sideman at these sessions.
* Stan Getz/Zoot Sims/Al Cohn - The Brothers (1949)
* V.A. - Brothers And Other Mothers (1949)
* V.A. - Lestorian Mode (1949)
* V.A. - Tenors Anyone? (1949)
* V.A. - Conception (1949)
* Stan Getz/Al Haig - Prezervation
* V.A. - Stars Of Modern Jazz Concert At Carnegie Hall
* Stan Getz Quartets (1949) - compilation of his late 40s, early 50s work, some of the tracks also appear on the "Roost" compilation.


* Stan Getz, Vol. 2
* Metronome All Stars
* Miles Davis - Dick Hyman - Sonny Stitt
* Here Are Stan Getz And Miles Davis
* Stan Getz - Getz Age
* Stan Getz - Modern World


* The Metronome All Stars - All Star Sessions
* Stan Getz - The Sound
* Stan Getz At Storyville -
* Stan Getz At Storyville, Vol. 2
* Billie Holiday At Storyville
* Stan Getz - The Complete Roost Recordings - another compilation of his 50-52 work, a box set of quartets with a rhythm section featuring Al Haig, the Storyville albums, (live session at a club in Boston with Jimmy Raney in 1951), and more (including 3 tracks with the Count Basie orchestra at Birdland in 1954.


* Johnny Smith/Stan Getz - Moonlight In Vermont - Getz's biggest hit in his career before bossa-nova
* That Top Tenor Technician Stan Getz
* Stan Getz - Move!
* Hooray For Stan Getz
* Stan Getz
* Stan Getz - Sweetie Pie
* Stan Getz - Duke Ellington 25th Anniversary Concert
* Stan Getz Quintet Live At Carnegie Hall
* Stan Getz Plays -
* Stan Getz - The Way You Look Tonight c/w Stars Fell On Alabama)


* Stan Getz Special, Vol. 2
* Stan Getz Quintet Live At The Hi-Hat 1953, Vol. 1
* Stan Getz Quintet Live At The Hi-Hat 1953, Vol. 2
* The Artistry Of Stan Getz - collection of standards,
* V.A. - Special College Jazz Album (complimentary record)
* Stan Getz - The Lighthouse Sessions - at the Lighthouse Cafe at Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles, California.
* Chet Baker And Stan Getz - West Coast Live - the two West Coast rivals sparring
* Interpretations By The Stan Getz Quintet
* Interpretations By The Stan Getz Quintet, #3
* Norman Granz' Jam Session, #3
* Norman Granz' Jam Session, #4
* Interpretations By The Stan Getz Quintet, #2
* Stan Getz - The Nearness Of You c/w Pot Luck
* Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz - Diz And Getz


* V.A. - Tenor Saxes
* Stan Getz At The Shrine - live with Bob Brookmeyer
* Stan Getz Quintet (no details)
* Count Basie/Stan Getz/Sarah Vaughan - Echoes Of An Era: Basie, Getz And Vaughan Live At Birdland


* The Modern Jazz Society
* Lionel Hampton/Stan Getz - Hamp And Getz
* V.A. - The Verve Collectors' Item
* V.A. - West Coast Jazz - recorded in Los Angeles in August 1955 with trumpeter Conte Candoli, pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne.
* The Benny Goodman Story
* Stan Getz In Stockholm -
* Stan Getz And The Cool Sounds - collection of recordings from 53-55, includes some tracks from the "West Coast Jazz" sessions, and some similar pieces including trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, trumpeter Tony Fruscella, drummer Max Roach and others.


* Stan Getz Special, Vol. 1
* Stan Getz/Dizzy Gillespie/Sonny Stitt - For Musicians Only - Dizzy Gillespie's intricate charts put Getz, bassist Ray Brown, and saxist Sonny Stitt through their paces. John Lewis piano, Stan Levey on drums.
* Stan Getz - The Steamer - more West Coast jamming, rhythm section is Lou Levy, Leroy Vinnegar, and Stan Levey. released on Verve Records.
* Buddy Bregman - Swinging Kicks
* Stan Getz/Shelly Manne - Stan And Shelly Live In 1956/57


* Stan Getz Quartet Live At The Village Vanguard
* V.A. - Sittin' In
* Stan Getz - The Soft Swing
* V.A. - Jazz Giants '58
* Stan Getz - Award Winner - more pre-bossa West Coast work with Leroy Vinnegar, Stan Levey and Lou Levy
* Stan Getz Quintet (not released)
* Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio - Playing the Great American Songbook in California with Peterson, Herb Ellis and Ray Brown.
* Stan Getz And Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio
* Herb Ellis - Nothing But The Blues
* Stan Getz/Gerry Mulligan - Getz Meets Mulligan In Hi-Fi - w Lou Levy on piano, Ray Brown, and Stan Levey
* Ella Fitzgerald - Like Someone In Love
* Stan Getz And J. J. Johnson At The Opera House - concert for Norman Granz's JATP at Chicago's Opera House. Rhythm section is Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Connie Kay.
* Jazz At The Philharmonic - Lester Young Carnegie Blues
* Ella Fitzgerald - Lady Be Good
* Jazz At The Philharmonic
* Ella Fitzgerald At The Opera House
* Ella Fitzgerald - Stompin' At The Savoy, Pt. 1&2


* Stan Getz/Cal Tjader Sextet -Getz and Latin-jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader with a group including Eddie Duran on guitar and Scott LaFaro on bass. On Fantasy Records.
* Stan Getz/Chet Baker - Stan Meets Chet
* Les Tricheurs (Soundtrack) (no details)
* Stan Getz/Coleman Hawkins/Roy Eldridge - The Great English Concert 1958
* Stan Getz Live In Europe 1958
* V.A. - Hello Baden-Baden
* Stan Getz - Imported From Europe
* Stan Getz - Stockholm Sessions '58
* Stan Getz - Stan The Man
* Annie Ross - Gypsy
* Stan Getz And The Big Band Of Europe
* Stan Getz In Denmark 1958-59


* Stan Getz In Europe - The Early Days, Vol. 3
* Stan Getz In Scandinavia With Oscar Pettiford - The Early Days
* Stan Getz In Scandinavia - The Early Days, Vol. 2


* Stan Getz At Large - Double live CD from Stan from the Cafe Montmartre, Denmark.
* Stan Getz - Cool Velvet: Getz with strings and harp arranged by Russell Garcia
this was later released as a 2-in-1 CD with the 1966 album "Voices"
* Stan Getz - Getz In Poland
* Norman Granz Presents "Jazz At The Philharmonic" In Europe, Vol. 1
* Norman Granz Presents "Jazz At The Philharmonic" In Europe, Vol. 2
* Norman Granz Presents "Jazz At The Philharmonic" In Europe, Vol. 4


* Stan Getz - Focus (Verve V/V6 8412) - with strings, arranged by Eddie Sauter, remastered in 1997
* Stan Getz/Bob Brookmeyer - Recorded Fall 1961 - (Verve V/V6 8418) sax/trombone duets backed by pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves and drummer Roy Haynes.
* The World Of Stan Getz (Verve VS 200)


* Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba (Verve V/V6 8432) - the launch of the samba craze in the US, includes Desafinado, remastered in 1997.
* Stan Getz/Gary McFarland - Big Band Bossa Nova (Verve V/V6 8494) contains 'Manha de Carnival' and 'Chega Suadade'.


* Stan Getz/Luiz Bonfa - Jazz Samba Encore! (Verve V/V6 8523) - bossa nova in a slower groove, with vocals by Maria Toledo and compositions by Luis Bonfa.
* Stan Getz - The Girl From Ipanema: The Bossa Nova Years (Verve 823 611-1)
* Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto (Verve V/V6 8545) the album that made the bossa nova sound into a craze. Getz, guitarist Joao Gilberto, pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim. Tracks include Girl from Ipanema the debut recording of Astrud Gilberto), Corcovado, and Desafinado. Recorded March 18th and 19th, 1963 in New York, produced by Phil Ramone.
* Stan Getz With Laurindo Almeida (Verve V/V6 8665) - more Brazilian sounds, recorded with guitarist Almeida two days after Getz/Gilberto, but this is a jazzier record than the bossa hits. Produced by Creed Taylor.
* Stan Getz - Reflections (Verve V/V6 8554)


* Stan Getz - Nobody Else But Me - the "lost album" with Gary Burton. Not being bossa nova Verve Records refused to release it. Gene Cherico on bass and Joe Hunt on drums.
* Stan Getz And Bill Evans coupling of these two stars, recorded for Verve Records in 1963. Tracks from these sessions appear on various Verve compilations under both Getz' and Evans' names.
* Stan Getz - Getz Au Go Go - with Astrud Gilberto live at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York's Greenwich Village. Gary Burton on vibes, Gene Cherico on bass, Joe Hunt on drums.
* Bob Brookmeyer And Friends
* Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto, #2
* Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto, #2
* Stan Getz - Live in London - recorded at Ronnie Scott's in spring 1964.


* The Canadian Concert Of Stan Getz
* Stan Getz - Mickey One


* Stan Getz And Arthur Fiedler At Tanglewood Boston Pops - A Song After Sundown
* Two Sides Of Stan Getz
* The Stan Getz Quartet In Paris -
* Stan Getz Quartet In Paris
* Stan Getz - Voices - bossa nova with backing vocals, on Verve Records
* Stan Getz - What The World Needs Now


* Stan Getz - Sweet Rain - the departure from bossa nova back to cool jazz, the title track a composition by Michael Gibbs, album includes Ron Carter on bass, Grady Tate on drums and Chick Corea on piano.
* Stan Getz - My Own True Love c/w A Tribute To Stan


* Stan Getz - The Song Is You
* Stan Getz - Didn't We
* Stan Getz - Marakesh Express
* Stan Getz And Gerry Mulligan


* Stan Getz - Dynasty
* Stan Getz Quartet Live
* Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland - Change Of Scenes
* Stan Getz With European Friends
* Stan Getz - Communications '72


* Stan Getz - Captain Marvel (Verve (E) 2304 225) - jazz-rockish outing with a group led by Chick Corea (electric piano) (who also composed most of the album}, and including Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams, and Airto Moreira.
* Jazz At The Philharmonic - Jazz At The Santa Monica Civic '72
* V.A. - Newport In New York '72: The Jam Sessions, Vol. 1&2
* Stan Getz Quartet At Montreux - La Fiesta
* Stan Getz - Portrait


* Stan Getz With Bill Evans Trio Live In Belgium 1974
* The Bill Evans Trio Featuring Stan Getz - But Beautiful - European concert recording with Evans, begins with a tense onstage dispute over the playlist and Evans' refusing to join in on some numbers!!
* Stan Getz - Grand Stan
* V.A. - Jazz Jamboree '74, Vol. 2


* Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - The Best Of Two Worlds Featuring Joao Gilberto
* Kimiko Kasai - This Is My Love
* Stan Getz - The Master
* Stan Getz/Jimmy Rowles - The Peacocks - produced by Getz, who plays here with pianist Rowles, Buster Williams and drummer Elvin Jones.


* Peter Herbolzheimer - Jazz Gala Concert
* Cybill Shepherd - Mad About The Boy
* V.A. - Jazz: Na Koncertnom Podiju, Vol. 2
* Woody Herman - The New Thundering Herd


* Stan Getz Quartet Live At Montmartre, Vol. 1
* Stan Getz Quartet Live At Montmartre, Vol. 2
* V.A. - Montreux Summit, Vol. 1
* V.A. - Montreux Summit, Vol. 2
* Stan Getz - Another World
* Stan Getz - Mort D'un Pourri


* Stan Getz - Jazz Buhne Berlin '78
* Stan Getz/Bob Brookmeyer - Academy Of Jazz
* Stan Getz - Children Of The World


* V.A. - Havana Jam, II
* Woody Shaw - Woody And Friends At Monterey Jazz Festival 1979


* Stan Getz - Midem Live '80
* Stan Getz - Jazz Gala '80
* Stan Getz - White Heat: Jazz Gala 1980


* Stan Getz - The Dolphin
* Stan Getz - Spring Is Here

Stan's reurn to the mainstream, the albums "The Dolphin" and "Spring is Here" were sets from the same gig and were later released as the "My Old Flame" CD on Concord Records. Lou Levy (piano), Monty Budwig (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums).
* Jimmy Gourley - Good News
* The Woody Herman Big Band Live At The Concord Jazz Festival 1981
* V.A. - Aurex Jazz Festival '81 Live Special
* V.A. - Aurex Jazz Festival '81 All Stars Jam Session
* Billy Highstreet Samba, Stan Getz '81

1982 (The age of 55)

* Stan Getz - Pure Getz
* Stan Getz - Blue Skies
* Dee Bell - Let There Be Love
* Stan Getz Quartet Live In Paris


* Stan Getz/Al Dailey - Poetry
* Chet Baker - Seven Faces Of Valentine
* Stan Getz/Chet Baker - Line For Lyons
* Stan Getz - The Stockholm Concert
* Stan Getz/Chet Baker - Quintessence, Vol. 1 - Stan Getz and Chet Baker in concert in Norway
* Stan Getz/Chet Baker - Quintessence, Vol. 2 - and more of the same


* Diane Schuur - Deedles
* Diane Schuur - Schuur Thing


* Diane Schuur - Timeless


* Stan Getz - Voyage

1987 (The age of 60)

* Michele Hendricks - Carryin' On
* Stan Getz - Anniversary! - The newly drug-free Stan live at the Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen on July 6, 1987. Kenny Barron piano, Rufus Reid on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.
* Stan Getz - Serenity - another set from that night at the Montmartre.
there is a compilation CD "Cafe Montmartre" with tracks from these albums.
* Barry Manilow - Swing Street


* Huey Lewis and the News - Small World


* Herb Alpert - Midnight Sun
* Helen Merrill - Just Friends
* The Paris All Stars - Homage To Charlie Parker
* Stan Getz - Yours and Mine: Live at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival 1989
* Stan Getz - Soul Eyes - more tracks from the Glasgow festival plus some recorded in Denmark a month later. Kenny Barron, Victor Lewis and the rest
* Stan Getz - Apasionado - light fusion-ish sound by Kenny Barron on electric piano and keyboards, drummer Jeff Porcaro, Oscar Castro Neves on guitar, and percussionist Paulinho da Costa.
* Bossas & Ballads- The Lost Sessions (2003) – recorded in 1989 but not issued until 2003. Again with Kenny Barron on piano, also George Mraz bass and Victor Lewis drums. Produced by Herb Alpert.


* Stan Getz - The Final Concert Recording
* Stan Getz - The Last Recording (DVD) w Kenny Barron and the band in Munich in 1990, one year before Stan died.


* Stan Getz/Kenny Barron - People Time - Getz returns to the Cafe Montmartre, some months before his death. Tracks from here are also on the "Cafe Montmartre" comp.
* Abbey Lincoln - You Gotta Pay The Band


* East of the Sun: The West Coast Sessions