Donald Harrison, Jr. (far left) and the New Orleans Music Interns (photo: Joel A. Siegel)
5. Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd: “Desafinado” (Jazz Samba; Verve, 1962)
The first of his two genre-defining Brazilian jazz albums features the music that Getz was always meant to make. Its ad hoc circumstances (recorded on the fly at the reception hall of a Washington, D.C. church) might have made for a mess, but the gentle (if insistent) rhythms of the music, coupled with the remarkable abilities of his partner, guitarist Charlie Byrd, and accompanists (bassist Keter Betts and Joe Byrd, percussionists Buddy Deppenschmidt and Bill Reichenbach) gave Getz the context to make a masterpiece. If one never heard another of his recordings, it would be a terrible shame, but one would nevertheless have experienced the great saxophonist’s essence.