Stan Getz

Stan Getz

Stanley Getz was an American jazz saxophone player. Getz was known as “The Sound” because of his warm, lyrical tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol, Lester Young. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Herman’s big band, Getz is described by critic Scott Yanow as “One of the all-time great tenor saxophonists.” Getz went on to perform in bebop, cool jazz and third stream, but is perhaps best known for popularizing the bossa nova, as in the worldwide hit single “The Girl from Ipanema” . #

10 Quotes

  • My life is music, and in some vague, mysterious and subconscious way, I have always been driven by a taut inner spring which has propelled me to almost compulsively reach for perfection in music, often-in fact, mostly-at the expense of everything else in my life.

  • There are four qualities essential to a great jazzman. They are taste, courage, individuality, and irreverence. These are the qualities I want to retain in my music.

  • It’s like a language. You learn the alphabet, which are the scales. You learn sentences, which are the chords. And then you talk extemporaneously with the horn. It’s a wonderful thing to speak extemporaneously, which is something I’ve never gotten the hang of. But musically I love to talk just off the top of my head. And that’s what jazz music is all about.

  • The saxophone is actually a translation of the human voice, in my conception. All you can do is play melody. No matter how complicated it gets, it’s still a melody.

  • I came from an era when we didn’t use electronic instruments. The bass wasn’t even amplified. The sound was the sound you got.

  • I played in rhumba bands, mickey mouse bands; all kinds of bands.

  • Life is too full of distractions nowadays. When I was a kid we had a little Emerson radio and that was it. We were more dedicated. We didn’t have a choice.

  • Records used to be documents, but now record companies want product.

  • The saxophone is an imperfect instrument, especially the tenor and soprano, as far as intonation goes. The challenge is to sing on an imperfect instrument that is outside of your body.

  • You can read all the textbooks and listen to all the records, but you have to play with musicians that are better than you.

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