Jočo Gilberto & Stan Getz | Getz/Gilberto ’76 (Resonance)
Stan Getz Quartet | Moments in Time (Resonance)

Springtime just might be the best time of year to savor the eternally flowering music of the saxophone giant Stan Getz, and these two new from-the-vaults sets arrive just in time. Getz/Gilberto ’76 and its accompanying Moments in Time CD were recorded at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner over a few days in May in 1976, among an apparently vast treasure trove of live material the jazz club’s founder and owner Todd Barkan got down on magnetic tape during the club’s 11-year run. Both sets feature Getz in glorious interplay with a particularly sensational rhythm section of pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston and drummer Billy Hart.

Interestingly, Getz said that this Keystone band was his most simpatico ever, yet these San Francisco sets were the only time the unit recorded. Thus these CDs have a very, very special feeling, of something unique and magical having been captured and lovingly offered for display. Getz/Gilberto ’76 shines a pinnicle-period light on the art of Brazilian singer-guitarist-composer Jočo Gilberto, the enigmatic master who hadn’t performed in public for four years prior to the Keystone dates and who, matched with his “Girl From Ipanema” co-creator Getz, superbly rises to the occasion on the self-penned “Jočo Marcelo” and “Um Abraćo No Bonfá” and pieces by noteworthy Brazilian composers such as Gilberto Gil, Dorival Caymmi and Ary Barroso. Gilberto’s performance on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Aguas de Marćo” is just one example of how mindblowingly in-tune Gilberto’s voice is with Getz’s lyrical sax; it’s an androgynous sound whose furry, rounded edges both envelop and, well, make you the listener want to envelop, too.

The Moments in Time set puts this great band in sharp focus on alternately smoky and really tough runthroughs of the wide-ranging kind of material Getz liked to emphasize in this period, from Ellington to Rowles/Mercer to Wayne Shorter, Jobim, Kenny Wheeler and Horace Silver. As a player, Getz himself had a huge trick bag he could pull from, but always had that “channeler” sound to his improvs, as if the variations were endless, and of course in his hands they were in such good taste. Same is true of his band on the Keystone sets, whose sensitive swing, ear for space and love of sheer locomotive burn in telepathic support to Getz is, no exaggeration, transcendent.

Both albums are great things to hold in your hands, and will get you that old-time thrill of the golden days when it was a total gasser to be a record collector. Both CDs include extensive liner notes containing newly commissioned essays, interviews and previously unpublished photos from the excellent music photographer Tom Copi. Getz/Gilberto ’76 is available as a deluxe CD and limited-edition 12'' LP mastered by Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl in a limited edition of 2,000 copies. (Also available digitally for pre-sale on iTunes with three “instant gratification” tracks upon purchase: “É Preciso Perdoar,” “Chega de Saudade” and “Morena Boca de Ouro.”)

Do yourself a favor and check out the praiseworthy Resonance web site:
–– John Payne

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