Stan Getz: Forgotten Bebop Tenor Saxophonist
ABSTRACT Within the discussion of bebop being an evolution vs. a revolution, Stan Getz’s contributions as a tenor saxophonist have been underappreciated. In 1951, Getz demonstrated an improvisational vocabulary that was a fusion of his swing era style, inspired by the melodic conception of Lester Young, and the harmonic improvisations of Charlie Parker. The objective of this project is to establish Getz as a primary disseminator of the bebop style on the tenor saxophone by documenting his improvisational vocabulary specific to the era, and comparing it to recordings of his contemporaries. A secondary goal will be to support the evolutionary argument by showing that his vocabulary was itself a product of the evolutionary process. The solos, selected from recordings made in 1950 and 1951, are evaluated concerning harmony, melody, rhythm, and macro-level solo construction. With two exceptions, the transcriptions selected for this project were from the Storyville Sessions recorded October 28, 1951 in Boston. They include “Mosquito Knees”, “Move”, “Parker 51”, “Pennies from Heaven”, “Signal”, and “Wildwood”. “Split Kick” was recorded December 10, 1950 and “Yvette” was recorded August 15, 1951 in New York. All are available on the boxed set Stan Getz: the Complete Roost Recordings. The transcriptions are notated in the key of Bb, as they sound on the tenor sax, so they can be observed relative to the instrument. From these transcriptions, analysis was conducted to provide data for the chapters relative to harmony, melody, rhythm, and macro level solo construction.
Marcus H. Wolfe. 2009. "Stan Getz: Forgotten Bebop Tenor Saxophonist" The Selected Works of Marcus Wolfe