Stan Getz: I Can't Get Started


I Can't Get Started


Stan Getz (tenor sax)


Anniversary! (Verve 838769-2)

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Stan Getz (tenor sax), Kenny Barron (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Victor Lewis (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin


Recorded: Montmartre Club, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1987


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

Stan Getz wasn’t exactly prolix, preferring to let his Selmer MarkVI do the talking for him. But on the occasions when he did speak, he revealed a dry, edgy wit. Paraphrasing a line from Tony Bennett’s signature tune, he tells the audience at the Montmarte Club, “I left my heart in Copenhagen,” eliciting a round of enthusiastic applause. Then he adds, “I said the same thing last night in Stockholm.” The Danes would forgive his teasing as he opened the next number with a languid, sultry intro, the bridge of “I Can’t Get Started,” setting up a hypnotic interpretation of the timeless ballad.

In this flawless performance the trio backs each note of his breathtaking solo with perfect understanding, the changes seemingly suspended in time and space as they transition seamlessly between twos and a relaxed walking swing. Then Getz demonstrates his generosity and respect by turning the rest of the number over to Kenny Barron, who delivers inspired, delicate piano effusions. The interconnectivity between Lewis, Reid and Barron comes close to telepathy, with punctuating bass and drums hanging on nearly every crystalline note, until a rubato ending gently settles the whole affair back on terra firma.

This is a prime example of why jazz should never lose its function as a live art. What you are hearing in this track is the spontaneous creation of a masterpiece by five highly evolved players. Yes, you heard right, five: one sax man, one pianist, one bassist, one drummer- and one living, breathing, appreciative audience. We must never forget the importance of this relationship.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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