Stan Getz was a genius of the tenor saxophone. He played alongside Jack Teagarden, his tutor (1943), Bob Brookmeyer (who saw in him "the greatest instinct of any jazzman I ever met"), Lou Levy, who showed no less praise in calling him "The tenor's Jascha Heifetz"), not to mention Stan Kenton (1944), Jimmy Dorsey or Benny Goodman, even before he joined the ranks of the Four Brothers sax section in Woody Herman's orchestra (1947). Within two years, Getz had written Early Autumn (1948) and Long Island Sound (1949), which instantly made him a figurehead of Cool jazz. He succumbed to the temptations of illegal substances, and then redeemed himself by recording Focus for composer Eddie Sauter (1961), just as the Bossa Nova wave was breaking over the U.S. coast (cf. Bossa Nova and Joao Gilberto in the Masters of Jazz series.) Bossa's languid, syncopated rhythms would blend perfectly with the sensibilities of Getz: he never attempted to "play Latin" but integrated the spirit and rhythm of this music from another world with his native lyricism, producing a form of Bossa Nova that bore his own elegant imprint. The four sides of this album did much more than leave a mark on several generations of musicians: for decades, they cast a spell over audiences worldwide.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.