Stan Getz – College Essay

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Known by his stage name as Stan Getz, Stanley Gayetzky (1927-1991) was one of the greatest musicians who made enormous contributions to jazz music (Harlowe). Getz was born in Philadelphia at St. Vincent’s Hospital on the 2nd February, 1927. He had his brother by the name Robert as a single sibling born on 30th October, 1932. Terrified and tired of the Pogroms, Getz parents came from Ukraine in an area known as Kiev in 1903 and settled shortly in West Philadelphia. The family then shifted to New York following the advice from Getz fraternal uncle that made them believe that there were at least better jobs in New York.

After moving to New York, they initially settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before proceeding to the East Bronx (Frame). While Getz’s father had possibilities to work in various fields, he often remained jobless as he was naturally dormant and not as aggressive as Getz’s mother who pressed her beloved firstborn to put more effort in studies. Getz’s mother always hoped that Getz would one day become a medical doctor or at least a professor. Therefore, she worked hard to ensure that Getz maintained grade ‘A’s in academics. Getz also worked hard in his initial stages in school.

Things went opposite to the expectation of his mother and during the hot summers in Bronx, Getz could not help loving immensely the art of swimming. Swimming at the Crotona Park was lovely to Getz. As he enjoyed swimming at the Park, Getz sold discovered that he would mint money selling seeds of sunflower. He successfully sold the seeds each packet of seeds which he bought in bulk going for two cents. Back in 1940 when he was about 13 years old, Getz had his own Bar Mitzvah and it is not mentioned anywhere that Getz ever had any significant spiritual grounding.

Getz and his brother would have up to four wives with seven children and none was brought up with the Jewish traditions (Frame). Interest in Music Later in the 6th grade, Getz picked up in his academic prowess and almost topped in his class. He was then admitted into an accelerated program where he combined the 7th grade and the 8th grade and completed in a single year. At this point, Getz developed immense love to music and he particularly loved musical instruments. He became bothersome to people until he tried any sort of instrument which he came across with.

By the age of 12, he was already playing harmonica and while in Junior High School, Getz played bass. His intrinsic music talent came to be manifested after he was able to play different types of tunes which he could hear especially from his harmonica or the piano. With a radio in front of him, he could often perform fancy opera orchestra then hum all the famous clarinet solos done by Benny Goodman right from memory. Getz had excellent qualities in remembering songs and a powerful rhythm and pitch (Frame). Development and into Music Career Getz music career continued to develop all times.

The remarkable moment in his music career development was when his father bought him an alto saxophone worth 35 US Dollars on February 16th, 1940 (All. about. jazz. com). During this time, Getz was only thirteen but quickly moved to play all sorts of saxophones and clarinets. He however loved most the tenor saxophone’s sound. He recalled his moments of music career development by saying that he had only one choice: to become a bum or else escape. And in deed he became an ambitious music kid committing himself eight hours everyday practicing music. He also recalled that he was often withdrawn and a very sensitive kid.

He could play a saxophone everywhere including the bathroom. As the tenements were closely packed, people from across the alley could shout at Getz to shut up but his mother could shout back at Getz encouraging him to play louder. He took excellent saxophone lessons each week from his favorite teacher, Bill Sheiner after mooching quarters off of his mother. His music interest grew wildly and he even took up to play the school band’s bassoon (Frame). Getz’s encouraging mother dressed him in a smart manner so as to cover for him the best she managed since he was economically poor than the rest of other children in school.

He finally became a clotheshorse for his entire life right from a tender age. At only 14, Getz worked in the Catskills as a busboy, shy emcee and musician during the summers although he never liked talking before the audience. The September of 1941 saw Getz being accepted into the orchestra of All City High School in New York (Frame). His entrance into the orchestra granted him access to a free and private tutor, Simon Kovar a bassoonist from New York Philharmonic. Getz also started playing local gigs such as Saturday night dances, bar mitzvahs, and fraternity parties.

These paid out about three bucks for each night and at 14, he was able to save enough to purchase a tenor saxophone (Frame). Achievement in Jazz Music Career After four months of serious gigging, Getz met Shorty Rogers, the trumpeter one night on the bandstand. Getz’s performance emerged the best knocking Shorty by playing the famous Tex Beneke and Lester Young’s solos in a perfect way than Shorty. He also read charts swiftly and flawlessly than Shorty hence knocking him out. Getz began going for jam sessions after finishing the gigs.

Getz then later made clear how he acquired his talent by comparing it to language learning where one learns the alphabets which are basically the scales. Thereafter, one learns the chords and then talks extemporaneously with horns. He admitted that while he had never spoken extemporaneously, it is one of the most wonderful things to do. He defended that he liked talking off to his head in music and that formed the philosophy of jazz music according to Getz (Frame). Local bands that recognized Getz’s talent welcomed him and the older musicians greatly encouraged him.

He was then hired by Dick Rogers who was the bandleader of the house to play at Roseland in December 1942 for 35 US Dollars a week. As Getz continued to work at Roseland, his academic performance started falling and he was forced to drop out of school. Although Getz was sent back to school after the school administration sending papers to Rogers the bandleader, this did not make sense as Getz already knew what he exactly wanted in his life. He made his decision thereafter on 14th January 1943 to join the Musicians Local 802 located in New York.

From this time he became a lot freer and told other musicians that he was fully available to play. Although he thought his parents would be mad at him, they were, especially his father very ready to let him free and do what he loved most: doing jazz which paid him 70 US Dollars per week (Frame). Getz was successful in playing a variety of the leading swing big bands that existed during his time when he was a teenager. With Jack Teagarden in 1943 when he was only 16 he was also followed by stint from 1944 to 1945 by Benny Goodman.

He did a few records together with Goodman. Getz, who developed his recording debut in July 1946, gained his fame when he was with Woody Herman’s Second Herd from 1947 to 1949 when he did music such as the Four Brothers and the Early Autumn with Herbie Steward, Zoot Sims and Serge Chaloff (Frame). Getz’s Contributions in Jazz and his Significance The 1950s saw Getz getting increasingly associated with a specific type of jazz known as the cool jazz. This implies that although he played bebop, he did this with much subtlety and self control.

In 1950s, Getz was one of the most popular musicians doing pieces in jazz. During the entire period of 1950s, he played with Jimmy Raney, Mulligna, Harry or “Sweets” Edison, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson and Jimmy Rowles (Frame). 1954 was a bad-luck year for Getz when he was incarcerated after pleading guilty of using addictive drugs. One of the drugs that he was addicted to was morphine. After his release he attempted to fight the addiction and slightly won the war by shifting to Denmark in the year 1958 (Frame). Getz got back to America in the year 1961 from Denmark.

After his return to America, he collaborated with singers Astrud Gilberto and Joao together with Brazilian composer by the name Antonio Carlos Jobim. This time during his return to America can be remembered to be important in jazz history as he assisted in the making popular bossa nova which is a mixture of samba and jazz. In 1963, he recorded The Girl from Ipanema which hit the top charts in the following year in 1964. Getz quartet played in a rather straighter manner ahead of music in the wake of 1964. In 1967, Chic Corea sought a union with the quartet group in 1967 making the group to have five members.

Getz’s group employed the vibes of Gary Burton instead of using the piano and for this reason; Getz is referred to as one of the Godfathers of Jazz music. Another wave of the law and a fierce fight with drugs caught Getz in 1969. This time, he left for Spain in a place known as Malaga and became dormant in performance for a period of two years (All. about. jazz). In 1971, Getz made another comeback to music and played with an organ band in 1970s in the European countries as well as the United States places in a place known as the Rainbow Grill.

During this time, he recorded a lot of music pieces in 1980s and continued to record until his death in 1991 when he succumbed to liver cancer. He died after attaining 64 years with 300 recordings in total. Specifically, Getz was different from the tenor saxophonists of his time because he had pure and rich tone. He will surely be remembered as one of the most important jazz saxophonist history has ever had (All. about. jazz). Getz was one of the most supremely melodious improvisers and important advocate of jazz instrument and the modern jazz in general.

Modern jazz style is deeply rooted in this swing period when Getz and other contributors developed the primitive jazz to what is known today. In specific, Getz developed a vibrato-less tone which stood apart from the aggressive late 1940s and 1959s bop style. Getz’s great personal manner was elegant and easily virtuous. Getz adopted a different note of jazz where he could play any piece of music using the saxophone. For instance, on the album, Stan Getz Quartets, Getz made a record of the tune known as the Crazy Chords.

In this recording, Getz got some unique roars through extreme key changes pressing on key signatures. Conventionally, no saxophonist would ever attempt to play the manner Getz used to do. To Getz, he took it as if he was taking a stroll by a rivulet. In the same album which contains Crazy Chords, there is a typical example on how Getz treated slow ballads. The song What is New can be identified as one of the greatest songs done by Getz. In this song, Getz did the song with a frequent brush stroke and transformed the melody into a totally different art work.

Getz played a number of his best songs until 1958 in the entire United States collaborating with some of the respected jazzmen statewide. The best jazzmen who made collaborations with Getz included Oscar Peterson, AL Haig, Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Horace Silver and Jimmy Raney (All. about. jazz). Getz also worked with some of the European jazzmen such as the Lars Gullin who was one of the most wonderful jazz and string musician in an album known as the Focus. Focus formed a superb success to Getz as he sailed around and about the brilliant arrangement of string adopted by Eddie Sauter (Harlowe).

This piece of work forms a stunning feeling about a musician like Getz who has reached a point of considerable powers. However, Getz never cared and did what he thought was best to him: making jazz music with a unique style. After the album Focus, Getz made another album known as Jazz Samba which contained his most love hit, the Samba Desafinado. Desfinado was made using simple tunes which Getz turned into unique art. This piece of music opened Getz’s career and took it to a step ahead.

It was after Desafinado when there was Bossa Nova which also became a craze for sometime and Getz massively supported it. Getz combined his jazz music with pop music and this made Getz a rich man although this never gave him a stop on his endeavors to improve on his pieces of works in jazz music. Other albums that Getz worked on included the Apasionado, The Streamer, the Best of the Roost Years, and the Best of the West Coast Sessions as well as the People Time. All these albums granted fame to Getz as he climbed the ladder into his career in jazz music (Harlowe).

Getz will be remembered for his numerous contributions and improvisation of jazz music which made the genre more interesting to listen to. For instance his performance on the piece of music, the Early Autum, which captured a number of young white jazz musicians with its delayed rhythm and languorous melody, will remain to precipitate the same cool reaction it precipitates to bop in many years to come. The jazz improvisations on his tenor saxophone, his unique tenor voice and the technical command on Getz instrument are some of the other aspects which will make Getz are remembered among jazz lovers for ages to come.

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