You Say It's Your Birthday: Stan Getz

Dave Davies of the Kinks also celebrates his birthday on this day.

Today is the birthday of the late jazz trumpeter Stan

Getz, who was born in 1927 in Philadelphia. Getz is one of the most-admired

jazz musicians of the post-World War II era, prized for his perfect pitch and

sight-reading skills, but most respected for his innate understanding of jazz

nuances and his incredibly beautiful improvisations, a staple of jazz

performance. Of improv, he said, "It's like a language. You learn the alphabet,

which is the scales. You learn sentences, which are the chords. And then you

talk extemporaneously with the horn--musically I love to talk just off the top

of my head. And that's what jazz music is all about."

His first solo

recordings emerged in 1944 with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and he continued to

make music for nearly five decades. In 1949 he recorded the big-band

masterpiece "Early Autumn;" in 1961 he welded jazz to strings--a rare

occurrence at the time--for "Focus." Along with Joao Gilberto and Charlie Byrd,

Getz brought Brazilian bossa nova to the American jazz scene. His final album

consisted of a duet with Kenny Barron in Copenhagen in 1991, making the number

of his recorded works somewhere near 300. While his music career was a success,

Getz was haunted by personal torment, drug addictions and cancer. He overcame

the first two, but the latter claimed his life in Dec., 1991. He was

64.

Other birthdays: Alan Caddy (Tornados), Dave Davies (Kinks), Graham

Nash (Hollies, Crosby Stills & Nash), Peter Mcabeth (Foundations), Howard

Bellamy (Bellamy Brothers), Al McKay (Earth, Wind & Fire)-1948, Ross Valory

(Bassist for Journey/Santana) and Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network). -- Beth

Winegarner