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Stan Getz was born on February 2, 1927 in Philadelphia and lived a modest childhood in New York with his Ukrainian parents. Drawn to music, he took up the bassoon and double bass before opting for the saxophone and revealing exceptional gifts. He was only 16 years old when he joined Jack Teagarden's big band swing band and then the biggest white bands of the time.
Noticed by Woody Herman, famous conductor of The Second Herd, Stan Getz became the soloist of the Four Brothers Orchestra, forming with Zoot Sims, Herbie Steward and Serge Chaloff, a group of talented young saxophonists who would become legendary. Influenced by Lester Young and his nonchalant style, Getz regaled audiences with his historic improvisation on the ballad Early Autmn in 1948. He became the undisputed leader of the new trend of distanced and sophisticated lyricism. However, he quickly distanced himself from the influence of Lester Young. In 1949, he left Woody Herman's orchestra and founded his own quartet with Horace Silver. He continued his work and strengthened his playing without ever losing the mastery of an incomparable velvet sound. He travels in Europe, creates a telepathic quintet with Jimmy Rainey and participates in the tours of the Jazz At The Philarmonic. Multiplying the sessions with the greatest jazzmen of the time, from Dizzy Gillespie to Oscar Peterson, the saxophonist is on all fronts despite major problems of drug addiction.
After a two-year escapade in Stockholm to recharge his batteries, Stan Getz returned to the United States in 1960 and discovered a scene in full reconstruction with John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins at its head imposing a new style: free jazz. In order to breathe new life into his career, he sought his place in this new scene. He recorded Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd, which was an immediate success with the public and opened the field to the most diverse mixes of jazz and Brazilian rhythms. Stan Getz will dig to explore all the facets of this hybrid aesthetic and will sign with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto the mythical album Getz / Gilberto, an unsurpassed masterpiece of the genre with the singer Astrud Gilberto.
Now enjoying international recognition, Stan Getz continued his exploration of more sophisticated forms of jazz. At the turn of the 70's, he signed one of the most beautiful records of his career, "Dynasty", rediscovering, in a resolutely lyrical register, the vehemence and ardor that characterized him as a young man. Throughout the 70s, Stan Getz alternated styles and registers, moving from "fusion" climates marked by the jazz-rock revolution to more classical contexts alongside Bill Evans, while continuing to celebrate the elective affinities between jazz and bossa nova. During the last years of his life, Stan Getz will return to a more traditional jazz and privilege his taste for the most refined pianists.
Stan Getz died on June 6, 1991, of liver cancer.