Five classic Stan Getz albums for Verve – all in a special package, in little LP-styled covers! First up is West Coast Jazz – a classic pairing of the tenor of Stan Getz and the gentle rhythms of the LA scene of the 50s – and a record that stands up beautifully over the years! Tracks are all a bit longish, and the group features Lou Levy
on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums – plus Conte Candoli on trumpet, somewhat in the frontline, but never in a way that overshadows Stan's tenor. The album's got a great David Stone Martin cover – and titles include "East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)," "Four," "Night In Tunisia," and "Summertime." Stan Getz In Stockholm allows Stan to showcase his affection for a jazz scene that had been growing strongly in the postwar years – often in directions that were similar to Stan's own sound at the time! The session is one of the first to pair Stan's tenor with a Swedish group – in this case the bass of Gunnar Johnson, drums of Anders Burman, and piano of Bengt Hallberg – the last of which brings sharper, more angular style to the music than some of Stan's accompanists on earlier American dates – pointing the way towards new experiments to come in his music! Next is Steamer – not a word that we'd necessarily think to use with the gently flowing tenor tone of Stan Getz – but that doesn't stop the album from being a great one, and perhaps in Getz-like terms, it might well have a bit more steam than usual! The album features Getz in a quartet with a nicely flowing groove – nicely vamping piano from Lou Levy
in the background on most numbers, and a definite edge in the lead tenor solos – still blown with the warmth of earlier Getz recordings, but perhaps showing some of the modern flourishes to come. Bass is by Leroy Vinnegar and drums are by Stan Levey – and titles include "Blues For Mary Jane", "There'll Never Be Another You", and "You're Blase". Cool Sounds features a range of unusual material recorded over a three year period with a variety of different players! Some of the dates here definitely fit the "cool sounds" title of the record – in that they feature Getz with the west coast lineup of Lou Levy
on piano, Shelly Manne on drums, and Leroy Vinnegar on bass – heard more famously on Stan's West Coast album of the same time. But other sides feature a different grouping – with Jimmy Rowles on piano, Bobby Whitlock on bass, and Max Roach on drums – offering up a different side of the west coast altogether. And still others take things back to more of an east coast modern style – by featuring either Tony Fruscella on trumpet or Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, in groups with John Williams on piano. The mix of material makes for a nicely-rounded portrait of Getz's talents in the mid 50s years! Last up is Stan Meets Chet – Stan Getz meets Chet Baker – A classic meeting of these two talents – recorded in Chicago with a Chicago rhythm section of Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Marshall Thompson. The album's an odd one, and is recorded with less of the impeccability of some of Verve's other sessions (which is probaby how the Chicago team got in the action) – but given Baker's harder-edged proclivities at the time, the set's a very interesting one to hear, and the relaxed nature of the tracks brings out some important solo moments from both players. 4 long tracks – including "I'll Remember April", "Jordu", and "Half-Breed Apache".