Stan Getz, as much as anyone, was responsible for mediating Brazilian jazz to the American public. For one thing, his career went all the way back to the big band era (he played with Woody Herman), and it spanned the whole ‘cool’ period, hard bop period, classic jazz period, and beyond. And he was a saxaphone player with a smooth tone and style, who would be an enormous influence on folks like David Sanborn. Like so many musicians of his era, he was also plagued with drug problems which hampered and indeed surely shortened his career. Nevertheless, his music stands even today as some of the most influential of all the ballad driven Brazilian style playing. You need to understand that Getz was a terrific and soulful player, but he knew his limitations. He did not have the facility, speed, or creativity of a Coltrane. So he stuck to what he did especially well, for the most part. He was a pioneer in the sense that he introduced many Americans to bossa nova, and the music of other forms of Brazilian dance. And he played with most of the major names of his era. Here are five CDs which will introduce you to his music:
1) Getz/Gilberto (featuring Jobim)
2) Getz plays Jobim
3) Stan Getz– Ballads and Bossa Nova
4) Captain Marvel
and if you want a collection of some of his smoothest ballads
5) Stan Getz– Getz for Lovers.