Sax from the 50s! Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan in Stereo

Mar 4, 2007 (Updated Mar 4, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Getz and Mulligan. Incredible recording for '57

Cons:None really.

The Bottom Line: Wow, they could really play back in my Dad's day!

I love music and audio equipment. I sometimes wonder what I would have listened to if I grew up in the 50s. I think I would have had a record player that played that fancy Hi - Fi sound in STEREO. On my turntable to show off would surely be Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi. Yes, 1957, the Beatles weren't even a band with guitars that wouldn't go far, guitars were still a novelty. A good jazz saxophonist on the other hand would sell records. Stan Getz certainly earned his renown as a tenor sax player. Gerry Mulligan had also earned himself quite a reputation on the baritone sax, so with the advent of new "STEREO HI-FI" technology, someone decided to put these two sax masters together on one Hi-Fi record.

Sound Quality

Although my Bang & Olufsen turntable is still hooked up to my Surround Sound System, I didn't have to use it, because this album was re- released on Compact Disc for a whole new generations of those discovering jazz. Instead I put it in my sweet sweet Meridian CD player and listened in pure 2 channel stereo as it was originally meant to be listened to. I can tell you, the master tapes from this session held up really nice, because there is only the slightest of background hiss here, and that only when I turned it up loud.

Track Info

On the LP, side one included Let's Fall in Love; Anything Goes and Too Close for Comfort. On these three songs, Getz and Mulligan swtiched saxophones, so Getz is playing the baritone sax, and Mulligan tenor sax.

On side two (or cuts 4-6 for us CD listeners) Getz plays his own tenor sax, and Mulligan his baritone sax on That Old Feeling, This Can't Be Love and A Ballad. Two songs from this recording session were cut from the original LP record, but are included on the CD, Scrapple from the Apple and I didn't know what Time it was. The CD is 54:51 in length.

My Thoughts on the Music

I recognized "Let's Fall in Love" it is still covered to this day. This is a pure instrumental version of the song (as are all the cuts on this CD) and you can just fall into the sound of the two saxophone players. "Anything Goes" is a Cole Porter tune, the piano just kind of plays along in the right, the drums and bass are in the center, and that baritone sax just booms from the left channel trading riffs with the tenor sax. On "Too Close for Comfort" Getz and Mulligan just play off each other flawlessly. (this was side one of the original LP)

By the time they get to "That Old Feeling" the two are playing side by side, the melodies and lines from each sax blending with the other, it was beautiful. "This Can't Be Love" starts with a heavy drum beat, and an upbeat swing sound from the saxes. The bass really kicks into a fast riff on this song keeping time for the saxes which really pick up speed. I felt like I was at some hip 50's cocktail party. Even though the pace is fast on this song, the Getz and Mulligan just sound relaxed, like this is so easy for them. "A Ballad" finds the two of them slowing down for a langourous love song albeit without lyrics. Ever watch and old movie when the hero and heroine look each other deeply in the eyes and romantic music comes on? This is that romantic music!

The bonus tunes are just Getz and Mulligan having fun. "Scrapple from the Apple" is a Charlie Parker song, and "I didn't Know what Time it was" is a Rodgers and Hart composition.

Yes the music sounds like its from the 1950s, but its a good sound. This album answers my question about what music lovers listened to before rock'n'roll took off. This must have been one of the LPs that audiophiles of the late 50s put on their stereos.

Recording Info

This album was recorded on October 12th, 1957 and also featured Lou Levy on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Stan Levey on Drums.

Liner Notes

I was happy that this CD came with very detailed liner notes that let me learn things about the recording that I certainly wouldn't have known on my own.

Summary If you like jazz from the good old days, this CD reissue certainly showcases the state of the art for 1957. I felt like putting on my porkpie hat and taking a drive in my brand new Studebaker after listening to this album, and I was born in '64!

Recommend this product?

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!