When he was 16, Stan Getz was touring with Jack Teagarden
. He won his first Down Beat
reader's poll when he was 23. In the early 1960s, he helped inaugurate the bossa nova craze with his recordings of "Desafinado" and "The Girl from Ipanema." But there were times when he was nearly as well known for his messy personal life as his beautiful musicianship. A long-time abuser of drugs and alcohol, he was a notorious philanderer who beat his wife. Somehow, he managed to age gracefully. "The thing I will always be proud of is this," he told the New York Times
not long before he died of cancer in 1991, "toward the end of my life, I became what I always should have been--a decent gentleman."
From Publishers Weekly
Maggin (Bankers, Builders, Knaves, and Thieves) chronicles the life and career of the great jazz saxophonist Getz (1927-1991), who was known especially for his sensuous tone and brilliant improvisations. Getz put his prodigious musical gifts to work early, joining Jack Teagarden's band at age 16 and moving on to Stan Kenton's group the following year. From then on, his musical fortunes never ceased to flourish. Nevertheless, his personal life was a disaster. Drugs. alcohol, depression, episodes of violence, a suicide attempt and lengthy divorce proceedings against his second wife provide a painful backdrop to the story of a consistently triumphant professional career. Maggin discusses Getz's performances and recordings (often delving into the backgrounds of many of the musicians with whom he worked) and analyzes his style and technique. While he presents the painful details of Getz's personal life, Maggin doesn't make much of an attempt to explain how Getz could have functioned so well on one level and failed so miserably on another. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.