Stan Meets Chet 180 Gram
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STAN GETZ, tenor saxophone
CHET BAKER, trumpet
JODIE CHRISTIAN, piano
VICTOR SPROLES, bass
MARSHALL THOMPSON, drums
Chicago, February 16, 1958.
1 I’LL REMEMBER APRIL (Gene DePaul-Pat Johnston-Don Raye) 12:24
2 BALLAD MEDLEY:
AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (Vernon Duke)
EMBRACEABLE YOU (George & Ira Gershwin)
WHAT’S NEW? (Bob Haggart-Johnny Burke) 14:34
1 JORDU (Duke Jordan) 8:31
2 HALF-BREED APACHE (Stan Getz) 14:49
This release presents the complete original LP Stan Meets Chet (Verve MGV-8263), pairing the great Stan Getz and Chet Baker in a quintet format. The recordings of these two masters playing together are limited to just a few dates. Despite what Nat Hentoff wrote in the original liner notes, Chet Baker and Stan Getz first recorded together in 1953, when they were working at The Haig in Los Angeles in a quartet format with Joe Mondragon on bass, and Larry Bunker on drums.
They were recorded again in a quintet format in 1954, when just three tunes were taped at The Tiffany Club (without an audience) in Los Angeles, with Russ Freeman on piano, Carson Smith on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums. Their next conjunct work is the 1958 album featured here. Although it wasn’t their first collaborative item to be recorded, it was however the very first to be issued (hence Hentoff’s assertion). Baker would make a brief appearance during Stan Getz’s set at the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival, playing with the leader on three numbers. Following that, they wouldn’t be recorded again until 1983, when the two musicians were scheduled to participate in a series of European concerts together. In fact, it was intended as a world tour.
By that time, the two musical giants had undergone many difficult life experiences since their initial encounter. Not to mention the fact that Chet and Stan’s relationship hadn’t been good from the beginning! According to Baker’s biographer James Gavin, “Since the early fifties, Stan Getz had regarded Chet as a brat and a nuisance, so he didn’t welcome the producer’s proposal to reunite them”. “Getz was doing fine on his own”, continued Gavin; “what’s more, having quit heroin and joined Alcoholics Anonymous, he wanted nothing more to do with the chemically dependent.” However, a tour with Baker was lucrative for both musicians, and the trumpeter consented immediately. The tension would explode however in late February, when the group reached Saudi Arabia. Gavin reported that: “Baker had copped a supply of ‘stuff’ before the flight and was planning to take it into a country whose anti-drug laws were among the fiercest in the world. When Getz found out, he flew into a rage; according to Victor Lewis, he seized the dope and flushed it down a toilet. With that, he phoned the producer and declared: ‘It’s him or me’.” That ended the tour. Baker died in 1988, and Getz in 1991, and after the 1983 tour they would never cross paths again.