Stan Getz & Dizzy Gillespie: Lover Come Back to Me


Lover Come Back to Me


Stan Getz (tenor sax) and Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)


For Musicians Only (Verve 837435)

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Stan Getz (tenor sax), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (alto sax), John Lewis (piano), Herb Ellis (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), Stan Levey (drums).

Composed by Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein


Recorded: Los Angeles, October 16, 1956


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Back in 1953 Getz and Gillespie battled it out at a very intense session, and it seemed like Dizzy was picking very fast tempos and deliberately trying to unnerve the cool school tenorist with an immersion into the boiling hot. Is it relevant that Dizzy, writing in his autobiography, griped that cool jazz was "white people's music," played by those "who never sweated on the stand"? Or is there no connection between that sentiment and the intense jousting that always took place when these two artists met in the frontline? In any event, if Dizzy tried to cut him in 1953, Getz did not bleed and fought back with some very aggressive playing of his own.

Fast forward three years, and Gillespie is ready for a rematch, and this time he brings along alto speedster Sonny Stitt to try to put even more pressure on Mr. Getz. Again the tempos are faster than normal, and Stitt sets the pace here with all of his usual double time licks. Gillespie follows, and though he is not quite as prepossessing over these changes as he would have been a decade before, he still makes a very strong statement. But Getz's playing here is the real revelation. Those who have only heard his bossa or ballad work may not know how much technique this artist had at his command, and how well he responded in pressure situations on the bandstand. I especially like Getz's overall sound on this track—his tone keeps its warmth and full body even when he increases the intensity of his attack. Give the nod here to Stan, who shows how deep his bebop roots went in this must-have performance for Getz fans.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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