Without doubt, Stan Getz is recognized as one of the greatest tenor saxophone players of all time, his influence wide, and far-reaching. He was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1927. While still a teenager, he launched his career playing saxophone at age 16 in Stan Kenton's orchestra. He recorded with Woody Herman on the song titled "Early Autumn" during 1948. He was 21 years old at the time.
Getz became the man with the golden sound, and his saxophone playing was in constant demand. Stan Getz had the ability to take a song and make it uniquely his, emphasizing the melody line with attention to subtle shadings of sound in the high register range. He had an influence on John Coltrane, among many other young saxophone players.
Getz was one of the most admired and imitated tenor saxophone players. He completed a series of landmark quartet recordings during the 1950s. He also toured with his friend, French organist Eddie Louis.
But it was not until 1963 that he became an internationally-known jazz performer with his recordings with Brazilian composers and Brazilian musicians. His hit version of Jobim's "The Girl From Ipanema" still receives much airplay today. Among his classic Brazilian work is found "Jazz Sambo" and "Getz/Gilberto".
For those jazz listeners who would like a view of Getz's genius with a saxophone, listen to his "Focus" on Verve where he is paired with the talents of Eddie Sauter's strings arrangements, and "Sweet Rain," where he is joined with the creativeness of pianist Chick Corea.
Stan Getz left behind a legacy of many great recordings available to the listening public. A remarkable performer, he was also a discoverer of new jazz talent. Stan Getz died in 1991, his death a loss to the jazz world.