LAST NIGHT, while sitting outside for a quiet dinner and talk with a friend and the long days of summer fast approaching, the conversation turned predictably to, well — Stan Getz. He’s always been part of my personal ambient sense-memory of summer as long as I can remember — both live and on disc — the bossa novas part of the soundscape, yes, but the standards, ballads and blues too. And so, it’s impossible to believe that been almost 20 years ago this week since he left the grand bandstand, if you will. So ingrained a summer tradition that I even had tickets (and still do) for a Hollywood Bowl show that was slated for later that very summer — he figured he had another one in him, too.
Here is one of the pieces Getz played as a set-list staple in the last years of his life, Billy Strayhorn’s “Blood Count.” Because Getz revisited this piece, it seemed, almost nightly when he was on summer tour or a short-jaunt set of gigs up-and-down the West Coast there are plenty of versions out there, however this one is particularly poignant and elegantly expressed:
And since you’re already in the room this too, a ballad written by Thad Jones, “Yours and Mine” … I was introduced to this piece via a concert in Santa Barbara at the State Theater and it never let go.