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Stan Getz: My Foolish Heart

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My Foolish Heart, recorded in 1975, features the Stan Getz quartet, with pianist Richie Beirach, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Though not Getz’s best recording, it’s plenty good. The tunes, “Invitation,” “My Foolish Heart,” “Spring Is Here,” Ralph Towner’s “Lucifer’s Fall” and Chick Corea’s “Litha” and “Fiesta,” are individually excellent and together constitute a nice, varied program.

Getz shines on the ballads, performing like an opera singer. He swings on the other tunes, but his playing is tenser than tenormen he’s been associated with, such as Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and Lester Young. Getz picked up some things from Young, both directly and indirectly, through the Young-influenced Herbie Steward. He got his lovely refined tone from Steward. Before that Getz’s timbre was rougher, as his playing on his initial record date for Savoy in 1946 demonstrates. He’s never been a relaxed up-tempo soloist, though. At rapid clips he tends to improvise aggressively, playing a lot of notes and pushing on the rhythm rather than laying back and riding on it.

Though he’s coming out of McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea, Beirach displays some individuality. His solos swing easily and he’s never at a loss for ideas and his comping for Getz is stimulating. As for Holland and DeJohnette, it would be quite difficult to find a bass-drum team that could match them.