Back to All

Sweet Rain

Stan Getz

In many ways Stan Getz was perfect. The handsome tenor saxophonist was possibly the most gifted musician of his era which began in the 1940s with Woody Herman’s Herd. Getz just always stood out with his Lester Young-influenced breathy feel and chops galore. A friend of mine who toured with Stan later in Getz’s life told me that musicians and bandmates were equally frustrated and jealous that Stan never needed to rehearse or practice. He was just that good. He could just make magic.

We all know his work with the Gilberto’s (Joao and Astrid) or his hugely popular Jazz Samba record with Charlie Byrd. The latter helped kick off the U.S.A.’s obsession with Bossa Nova, the former put gasoline directly on the fire. His popularity faded some as Bossa Nova was replaced in popularity by the British Rock Invasion, but Stan’s creativity and propensity to find great musicians never faded. That brings us to 1967’s Sweet Rain. Released on Verve Records a full five years after Jazz Samba had swept the country. This is a quartet session made up of Grady Tate on drums, Ron Carter on bass, and a young pianist just starting to make a name for himself named Chick Corea. Stan was always on the lookout for great songs, again he had an incredible ear and knew a great song to fit his style like the back of his saxophone! Sweet Rain is made up of five songs. Two of those songs are from Corea’s songbook, “Litha” and “Windows,” and the others were “O Grande Amor,” a Jobim original harkening back to that Bossa Nova era. Dizzy Gillespie’s wonderful “Con Alma” and arranger Michael Gibbs’ “Sweet Rain” rounds out the program. As always Getz was brilliant. He claims that it wasn’t until the late 80’s when he got clean from all his drinking and smack addictions that he ever did a session straight, but it never seemed to matter. Have you ever heard Stan Getz play messy? I’ll answer that for you; no.

This record is always available in the store, and I can’t recommend it more. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s beautifully packaged and impeccably recorded and the songs are tremendous. It’s the album that other jazz musicians think of first when they think of Stan. It’s that impeccable.

Also, if you dig Sweet Rain, you might want to explore the other Getz/Corea collaboration Captain Marvel which was recorded a full five years after Sweet Rain. Again, Chick’s songbook is on full display, and the backing band of Chick, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams and Airto is…well obviously, it’s tremendous.

Joe's Picks

Joe Schwab owns 2 Euclid Record stores and travels the globe looking for more stuff to fill them with. It’s a lifelong (and harmless) obsession.