Come February 19, Resonance Records will be releasing two albums of previously unreleased live recordings culled from a May 1976 Stan Getz gig at the famed San Francisco jazz club, the Keystone Korner.
Getz/Gilberto ’76 is a kind of salute to the saxophonist’s landmark ’64 and ’66 recordings with the brilliant Brazilian guitarist and vocalist, João Gilberto, albums that helped spark the ‘60s bossa nova craze. They had recorded another album together, The Best of Two Worlds, for Columbia in 1975, and the Keystone Korner gig reunited the two artists to launch that album. If the Columbia album and the current live disc don’t quite measure up to the ’64 classic, few albums do. Magic, like lightning, doesn’t necessarily strike twice.
Still, Getz/Gilberto ’76 is an impressive piece of work. It features a dozen tunes including favorites like “Aguas de Março,” the jumping “Samba da Minha Terra” and “Doralice” as well as two of Gilberto’s own compositions, the guitar instrumentals “João Marcelo” and “Um Abraço No Bonfá.”
The second album, Moments in Time, features the quartet with Getz’s lyrical tenor sax fronting pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston, and drummer Billy Hart. They run through an eight-song program of jazz classics highlighted by Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes,” Kenny Wheeler’s “The Cry of the Wild Goose,” Horace Silver’s “Peace,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma,” and Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss.” The set opens with “Summer Night” and closes with a delicious “Morning Star.” There is a Jobim piece, “O Grande Amor,” as well. What you get is a set of pros who know how to work together to make some intelligent, beautiful music.
Both albums come with elaborate booklets containing interviews with band members, pictures, and historical information—everything you want to know about the musicians and the week’s performance. In one of the interviews, producer Zev Feldman asks Brackeen about playing with Getz. “It’s great to be in the company of geniuses,” she says. “It was adventurous, innovative, and we had really a beautiful experience.” It’s an experience now available to us all with the release of Getz/Gilberto ’76 and Moments in Time.