Music Reviews: Stan Getz - Moments In Time - and - Getz/Gilberto '76 (with Joao Gilberto)

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Resonance Records graces jazz fans with two new releases of vintage recordings by sax great Stan Getz. Both Getz/Gilberto '76 and Moments In Time (available February 19) were taped within the same week in May 1976, the former featuring Brazilian vocalist and guitarist Joao Gilberto. These live albums (both previously unreleased) are simply a treat, each packaged with detailed, expansive liner notes. Fidelity is excellent (though be prepared for the occasional harsh moment throughout Moments In Time, though not a particular distraction), with Getz's big, warm tenor sound always pleasingly upfront.

Fans of Getz and Gilberto's previous collaborations—1964's Grammy-winning Getz/Gilberto and '66's live Getz/Gilberto #2—will take special interest in Getz/Gilberto '76. As Getz himself says during his brief introduction (track one on the disc, and I'm paraphrasing), Gilberto's pure, vibrato-less tone is a thing of supremely soothing beauty. This set of seven bossa novas is a worthy addition to the Getz/Gilberto canon (which also includes the 1976 The Best of Two Worlds). Getz's band for these dates, a week-long stand at San Francisco's Keystone Korner, includes Joanne Brackeen (piano), Clint Houston (bass), and Billy Hart (drums).

The "deluxe" CD package includes a 32-page booklet is packed with lots of newly-penned essays and previously unpublished photos. 
Getz moments in time (380x380).jpg For purely instrumental Getz goodness, Moments In Time offers eight tracks worth. The live recordings were made at the same club with the same band (minus Gilberto) during the same week as Getz/Gilberto '76. According to the liner notes, this quartet was not recorded together under any other circumstances, making Moments just as treasurable as '76. Speaking of liners, the booklet for the Moments CD boasts 28-pages of the same sort of detailed annotation as '76 (new essays, previously unseen photos).

Highlights on Moments include an exploratory take on Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes" and a typically lyrical Getz reading of "Prelude to a Kiss." Although Getz's virtuosic flights are the prime attraction throughout, the band—particularly the piano work by Brackeen—bristles with energy, always intuitively knowing how to most effectively support the bandleader.

Kudos to Resonance Records for unearthing these 40-year-old records. And audiophiles takes note: Getz/Gilberto '76 has also been issued as a limited edition (2,000 copies) 180-gram vinyl version.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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