The New Stan Getz Quartet featuring Astrud Gilberto – Getz Au Go Go [TrackList follows] – Verve (1964)/Original Recordings Group 180gr. 45 rpm audiophile vinyl (2 discs) ORG 030 *****:
(Stan Getz, tenor sax & leader; Astrud Gilberto, vocals; Gary Burton, vibes; Gene Cherico, bass; Joe Hunt, drums)
The Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village was small and folk-oriented, but Stan Getz chose it for this live recording due to its fine acoustics. Rudy Van Gelder was the recording engineer, doing his usual superb job, and while it means more $ and more frequent getting up to change sides, the 45 rpm remastering brings the listener closer to that special night in NYC and Gelder’s terrific tapes. (Most of the four sides are just nine minutes length.)
Gary Burton was only 21 at this time; Getz encouraged him to develop as both a vibist and composer. In fact two of the tracks in this album are Burton’s. Astrud Gilberto was in the midst of her “Girl From Ipanema” fame, and had already recorded with Stan on the earlier album Getz/Gilberto. She had been just sitting around in the studio while her husband João was recording, and hadn’t intended to sing at all, but was pressed into service and sudden celebrity status. Certainly not a trained vocalist, she still had a certain warmth and intimacy that seemed perfect for the Brazilian music.
Getz’s lyric tenor comes across with great immediacy, and the audience sounds are not the least bit annoying. Jazz and jazz lyrics writer Gene Lees did the album notes. The original LP has been expanded into a double vinyl album, with a photo taken during their stint at the Au Go Go. It shows Brazilian composer/performer Antonio Carlos Jobim on guitar (who is not heard on the album). There appears to be some controversy as to whether Astrud’s vocals were re-recorded later at Van Gelder’s, but the fact remains that this is a great jazz album of the bossa nova years.
Corcovado, It Might As Well Be Spring, Eu E Voce, Summertime, 6-Nix-Quix-Flix, Only Trust Your Heart, The Singing Song, The Telephone Song, One Note Samba, Here’s That Rainy Day.
A posthumous release of late career Bill Evans in SACD format adds to the formidable legacy.