Stan GetzJazz Musician / Saxophonist
Born: 2 February 1927
Died: 6 June 1991
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The jazz saxophonist who did "The Girl From Ipanema"
Stan Getz had a long career as a saxophone stylist between the 1940s and the 1980s, but he's probably best known for popularizing the bossa nova
sound of jazz in the early 1960s, with the hit "The Girl From Ipanema." He grew up in New York and was a natural on the sax, dropping out of high school to become a professional musician. During the 1940s he played as a sideman with the bands of Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman
and Woody Herman, making a name for himself with his performance in Herman's "Early Autum" (1948). From then on, Getz toured the world on his own and with bands, all the while battling booze and heroin. His 1961 album Focus
was well-received, and his career rebounded with collaborations with Charlie Byrd (1962's Jazz Samba
) and Joao Gilberto (the 1965 Grammy-winning "The Girl From Ipanema"). Getz continued to tour during the 1970s, and he got a good response from 1980's Anniversary
. In the mid-1980s he taught at Stanford University and played internationally, but his last years were complicated by a messy divorce and health problems. Getz, admired for his melodic sensibilities and natural gift for jazz interpretation, ranks alongside the more "edgy" reed players of his generation, including John Coltrane
and Eric Dolphy
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