On February 2, 1927 one of the world's greatest jazz musicians, Stanley Getz, was born in a small hospital room in Philadelphia. At an early age Getz became intrigued by both the sound of music and the instruments that produced it. At age twelve Getz was given his first musical instrument, a harmonica. Soon after his high school band director prompted him to play the bass in an upcoming band concert. Stanley kept with it and eventually realized how easy it was for him to read and memorize music. His father also realized his son's sense of rhythm and pitch and decided to buy him an alto saxophone. Getz's passion for the saxophone grew and began to intrigue him. Getz experimented with several saxophones before deciding on the rich sound of a tenor sax. (duke.edu and hiponline.com) "When he was sixteen the draft was taking away many of his band mates, so Getz tried out for his first job and got it (duke.edu)."
For the next couple of years Getz was given the opportunity to play with many talented musicians, these included Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman. It wasn't until 1948 when he became part of Woody Herman's Second Herd and recorded "Early Autumn," that Getz began to become popular in the jazz scene. (duke.edu and pbs.org) In 1949 Stan Getz launched his solo career, which led him on tours throughout Europe, and received the nickname "The Sound." Getz began meeting other talented musician and writing and recording music with them. His unique playing technique and style aided many of these musicians in reaching stardom. In 1954 Getz began experiencing drug problems which put his career on a temporary hold. (musicbase.h1.ru and bbc.co) In 1961 Getz returned to the United States to release his new album, Focus, which included many outstanding arrangements. A year later Getz helped usher in the bossa nova era by producing "Desafinado," with Charlie Byrd. During the next few years Getz continued on with his bossa nova theme, working with many other big names. Getz encountered a brief period of fame during this time with a number of chart topping hits. Soon, however, his drug problems returned and Getz went into a brief period of retirement, living in Europe. (pbs.org and musicbase.h1.ru) Getz couldn't stay away from music for too long. He returned to the business in 1971 with a more challenging form of jazz and released his new album Captain Marvel. This album marked his return to jazz and paved the way for many of his other masterpieces. (duke.edu) Getz recorded frequently in the 1980's, signing a recording contract with Concord Records. This allowed him to change his style of performing once again to a more of an acoustic backup trio. (duke.edu) Getz continued recording right up until his final months when he lost his battle to cancer in 1991 at the age of 64. Though Getz's life was short lived and rough at times, his talent shined brightly through out the years. Getz had over 300 recordings and worked with many prestigious musicians, paving the way for many of them. Stan Getz is truly one of the world's greatest musicians, shaping jazz into many new and exciting forms.
(musicbase.h1.ru and duke.edu)