Stan Getz: Voyage
Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Serenity (Emarcy 838770-2)
Composed by Kenny Barron.
Recorded: Copenhagen, Denmark, 1987
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
During this extraordinary 1987 Copenhagen concert, the man we have come to know as “The Sound” pauses to request that a particularly annoying television light be turned off the stage. As the light dims, someone makes an offstage quip about docking his fee. Getz pithily responds, “Bull____ you’ll lower my salary,” to the delight of his audience. That exchange didn’t make it onto the album, but the dazzling performance which followed fortunately did.
Kenny Barron’s harmonic minor hard bop masterpiece is the perfect vehicle to demonstrate the intensity smoldering just below the surface of this legendary tenor man. At times Getz reaches into the lower octaves, pulling snarling, bearish phrases from the depths, throwing them in the air, suspending the lines in Edvard Munch-like screams; at other times he thinks, points and shoots, a musical marksman hitting his target every time. Given the near-perfection of this cut, you would think it was a studio take, but for the applause. Even now, it’s still amazing to remember that this was done live, under the intense heat of television crew lighting.
Getz’s body of work with Barron remains a paragon of pure energy and intuitivism and that synergy is evident here. The warm, deadly accurate support of Reid and Lewis help elevate this track to the status of must-have recording in any jazz lover’s library.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes