Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto: Live at Berlin Jazz Festival 1966 review – more than impressive

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<span>Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

The Stan Getz Quartet of 1964-66 was a particularly sparky little outfit, featuring the young vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton. By the time of this recording, a close partnership had grown between the two, often resulting in moments of radiant beauty. The Shadow of Your Smile, here, is one of these – delicate, almost fragile. At other times, such as the opening number, On Green Dolphin Street, there’s sheer rhythmic drive, and with Chuck Israels on bass and the great drummer Roy Haynes it’s more than impressive.

The second disc of this two-CD set mostly belongs to Astrud Gilberto, and it’s a surprise. She was now a star in her own right, with four albums to her credit, and hadn’t worked with Getz for more than two years. Her seven songs here are all ones they had recorded together, including the funny but tricky The Telephone Song, and finishing (of course) with The Girl from Ipanema. It’s all charmingly and efficiently done, and I couldn’t help noticing the quartet’s immaculate accompaniment. These jazz stars were professional musicians too, and they knew how to step back from the limelight while remaining unmistakably themselves.

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