Stan Getz ‘Sweet Rain’ (Verve) 5/5

For almost a decade Stan Getz became associated internationally with the bossa nova sound. However, in 1966 he returned to a more straight ahead sound when recording a live album with Roy Haynes and Gary Burton in 1966. The following year he recorded his first studio set and this resulted in arguably his finest album of the entire decade contained herein. A new creme de la creme line up included a young Chick Corea on piano, the great Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate filling in for an ill Roy Haynes on drums. Three of the five compositions were new with two from the pen of Corea (’Litha’ and ‘Windows’) and one from Mike Gibbs (’Sweet Rain’). Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder with the production genius of Creed Taylor, this is an outstanding outing that covers all of Getz’s musical moods. Melodicism is the name of the game on ‘Windows’ with Corea stretching out while on Dizzy Gillespie ‘Con Alma’ the piece is transformed into a waltz-like reverie. On ‘O Grande Amor’, a Vincius de Moraes and Tom Jobim song, Getz revisits briefly the bossa nova territory and pays tribute to the two writers who typified everything that was best in contemporary Brazilian music. Throughout Getz’s tenor playing is plaintive and warm, caressing the melody. By the time this album had been recorded, Getz was off on another tangent, this time exploring a harder north-eastern Brazilian sound live with Baden Powell.

Tim Stenhouse