16 Songs, 2 Hours 19 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In November 1961, tenor sax titan Stan Getz was leading one of his best yet shortest-lived lineups, with pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves, and drummer Roy Haynes. The previously unreleased Getz at the Gate showcases this group at peak power on the bandstand. In sound quality, it far exceeds Live at Birdland 1961, which captures nearly the same band (with Jimmy Garrison on bass) on many of the same tunes, earlier in the same month.

That July, Getz had recorded his classic Focus with a chamber group. And by early ’62, he was ushering in the lucrative bossa nova craze with Jazz Samba. But on that Thanksgiving weekend at the Village Gate in ’61, he was blowing in an elegant though highly modern mode, choosing well-worn standards (“Stella by Starlight,” “Like Someone in Love”), lesser-known gems (“Wildwood,” “Where Do You Go”), bop/post-bop classics (Thelonious Monk’s “52nd Street Theme,” Sonny Rollins’ breakneck “Airegin,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody ’N’ You”), and a Lester Young blues sendoff (“Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid”).

By the early ’60s, Getz had major competition: John Coltrane was revolutionizing the tenor with long improvised burns, and Rollins was just returning to the scene after his storied two-year performing hiatus. If he felt their presence looming, perhaps that was to the good: His solos here, melodic as ever, are alive with a sense of risk, sonic punch, and endurance at the faster tempos (including Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right With Me”). He’s not afraid to overblow a note or lose a little control if the music transports him. Interestingly, Getz at the Gate does include a Coltrane piece, “Impressions,” but Getz does not play on it—he gives it to Kuhn as a piano trio feature. It’s just one of the many rewards that this set offers, not least of which is a new look into Getz's history.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In November 1961, tenor sax titan Stan Getz was leading one of his best yet shortest-lived lineups, with pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves, and drummer Roy Haynes. The previously unreleased Getz at the Gate showcases this group at peak power on the bandstand. In sound quality, it far exceeds Live at Birdland 1961, which captures nearly the same band (with Jimmy Garrison on bass) on many of the same tunes, earlier in the same month.

That July, Getz had recorded his classic Focus with a chamber group. And by early ’62, he was ushering in the lucrative bossa nova craze with Jazz Samba. But on that Thanksgiving weekend at the Village Gate in ’61, he was blowing in an elegant though highly modern mode, choosing well-worn standards (“Stella by Starlight,” “Like Someone in Love”), lesser-known gems (“Wildwood,” “Where Do You Go”), bop/post-bop classics (Thelonious Monk’s “52nd Street Theme,” Sonny Rollins’ breakneck “Airegin,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody ’N’ You”), and a Lester Young blues sendoff (“Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid”).

By the early ’60s, Getz had major competition: John Coltrane was revolutionizing the tenor with long improvised burns, and Rollins was just returning to the scene after his storied two-year performing hiatus. If he felt their presence looming, perhaps that was to the good: His solos here, melodic as ever, are alive with a sense of risk, sonic punch, and endurance at the faster tempos (including Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right With Me”). He’s not afraid to overblow a note or lose a little control if the music transports him. Interestingly, Getz at the Gate does include a Coltrane piece, “Impressions,” but Getz does not play on it—he gives it to Kuhn as a piano trio feature. It’s just one of the many rewards that this set offers, not least of which is a new look into Getz's history.

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