Stan Getz: My Foolish Heart: Live at the Left Bank

Stan Getz
My Foolish Heart: Live at the Left Bank
Label M

This Getz performance, recorded May 20, 1975, presents his saxophone in quartet with Richie Beirach’s piano, Dave Holland’s bass, and Jack Dejohnette’s drums. It is an evening of standard though inventive jazz that shows a loose-sounding Getz at work at playing, or playing at work. Some of it throws the ingredients together into an undistinguished kind of jazz gazpacho soup, fine ingredients, but still likely to leave the listener a bit cold. But in at least a couple of places, Getz warms it right up. The first is “Lucifer’s Fall,” on which he plays with exquisitely impressive breath control, and where Holland is also featured on that rarest of things, a charming bass solo. The second is the title track, which would be the perfect soundtrack to watching the rain on the windows of a train, as you ride away thinking of a meeting with an old lover in which sparks flew but turned to ash when you tried to catch them like fireflies.Trust me.

With this release PDSE Records Inc. inaugurates both its new jazz division, Label M, and a series of recordings taken from the Left Bank Jazz Society, an organization out of Baltimore which presented many of the greats of jazz in the ’60s and ’70s. The performances were privately recorded, and are now being released to the public for the first time. One gets the impression of a relaxed atmosphere, as though the musicians did not feel pressured to do anything more than enjoy themselves and each other and hope the audience would too. This album goes a long way towards being the argument against “the cold sterile atmosphere of the studio,” as a Doc Pomus quote has it in the liner notes, that it wants to be, and is a promising start to this new series. Forthcoming releases will include Freddie Hubbard and Jimmy Heath.