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Stan Getz's prodigiously prolific musical career encompassed the tumultuous eras of big band, swing, be-bop, and free jazz. Though he is most famous for "The Girl from Ipanema," Getz's extraordinary talent established him in the pantheon of jazz greats. His legendary career is all the more impressive given the excesses of his personal life: He was a heroin addict until age twenty-seven; later, a violent alcoholic. Furiously self-destructive, Getz wasn't expected to outlive the 1950s, yet he continued to create beautiful music for forty more years, achieving sobriety five years before succumbing to cancer in 1991. With rich portraits of both the master and those he influenced--such giants as Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis--Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz masterfully captures a dynamic era in music, with the artistic genius, triumphs, and tragedies of Stan Getz at its center.
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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."About the Author:
Donald L. Maggin is the author of Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz. A writer and businessman, he has produced jazz concerts by such artists as Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Roland Hanna, Eubie Blake, and Roberta Flack. He was a board member of the American Jazz Orchestra, served in the Carter White House for three years, is an editor of the literary journal The Reading Room, and is a trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.
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