Stan Getz Community

Remembering Stan...

Stan Getz honors Bill Evans, San Francisco circa 1985

I lived in S.F. and visited many of the clubs there that are long extinct. When Bill Evans died there was an impromptu (spontaneous) gathering of jazz bretheran (players and enthusiasts) at Bimbo's on Columbus Ave. in North Beach. First and last time I saw Stan. He had his huge, beautiful white husky there circulating with him throughout this saddened but exhilerated crowd...He played like Stan plays......pulling the soul out of body and heart from heart-beat...glorious, emotional and heart-breaking. I am sorrry to say - the man STAN was an often monstrous creature and lived his human life in hell and hindsight - but the jazz musician STAN was God's angelic spokesman for the purity of musical sound and a beneficiary of profound musical talent. I want Stan to be forgiven and happy in the ether of the afterlife but to know he has touched us with his musical, redemptive grace. I do love Stan from Stanley, Virginia.

Views: 24

Comment by Bev Getz on January 23, 2009 at 4:34pm
Thanks for posting this blog Daniel. Lovely story!

Just want to clarify that the husky was in fact a yellow Lab, known as James! My dad and James were truly connected on a soul level!

Your words are very beautiful. I know he would feel very honored to read them. I have to admit, that I do take slight issue with "I am sorry to say - the man STAN was an often monstrous creature and lived his human life in hell and hindsight". I must contradict you here! While yes, indeed there was some monstrous behavior... I wouldn't go as far as to say his entire "human" life was lived that way. I think I can honestly and safely say that from my experience, he was equally as "angelic" in his close relationships. He may not have been the easiest person to grow up around(!), but there was always the flip side to that. Plenty of balance, if you will! My Dad had a very tortured and dark side, which I cannot claim to understand or explain, as I didn't walk in his skin. However, he was also very loving, giving and always there when and if you needed him, whether the need was just a reassuring hug or some words of advise. I must admit I miss that. More than the music. The legacy of music will always be here. He, the "human" Stan/Dad is gone forever. As we all will be when its time!

As far as being "forgiven"... I personally don't believe that any of us can sit in judgment of another. Forgiveness is something that is very personal and deep in the heart of all of us. Some find it... others not. I do believe that Stan had much to account for when he met his Maker. We all will have to face that when we make our final journey... yes?! Little bit of a frightening thought I'd say. (-"

Thanks for joining and for your contribution Daniel. I really appreciate it. This is why we have this forum!

My Best,
Comment by Denis Ouellet on January 23, 2009 at 9:37pm
Thank you Daniel for this great read.
Every bit of information about Stan is important. For me at least.
Of course the obvious is not always what it may seems to be.
A careful study and an open mind will go a great way in bringing us
a complete picture of Stan and his life. The music is paramount to me.
But I am also fascinated by the man.

Bev, when reading your words I can only be enlightened. Your thoughts
and experiences are invaluable. Thank you.

Comment by Daniel R. Kuhn on January 24, 2009 at 9:41am
I agree with you wholeheartedly, Thomas, and I am embarrassed and apologetic for having judged Stan whose life and accomplishments is more important and dynamic than mine could ever be. Stan Getz is a great man! My fulsome apology to you, to Bev.....The world is a better place because of Stan's astonishing gift. I honor him and always have...

Best wishes,

Dan Kuhn
Comment by Bev Getz on January 24, 2009 at 11:12am
Absolutely no need for embarrassment or apologies here Daniel! We all have our opinions and this forum is for us to express them and whatever our thoughts are. I'm glad you wrote how you felt... as you are not the only person who judges Stan for is bad boy and indulgent behavior! As I'm sure you are aware, his bad boy reputation is as famous as his playing!!! If, in fact, not more so. (-:

Admittedly, I am probably overly sensitive to criticism of his personal life as it truly has been blown so out of proportion. My eyes have always been, since my earliest memories, wide open in regards to him and his character defects. But since I was also privy to the 'other' Stan ("Nice bunch of guys"), I know who he was in his soul.. and that person was a truly beautiful person. Not that it is ever an excuse in any way, shape or form, I would like for all the people who believe he was a horrid monster, who happened to have a gift for playing the saxophone, to perhaps consider that his chemical dependency played an enormous role there. When Stan was clean and sober, you couldn't even imagine that he was the same Stan who could behave in such an ugly fashion. The sad part is that he had no memory of his bad behavior when he was sober. Blackouts... and they were very real for him. Also, having come from a quite poor, but proud and strict Jewish family, he was innocent and ill equipped to handle himself at the tender age of 15, finding himself suddenly living with very SEASONED, older musicians. No guidance there!

Having said all this... I hope that your experience here has not been soured and that you will continue to participate and bring such thought provoking subjects! I enjoy your company here Daniel. (-:

All my best,
Comment by Paul Wood on January 25, 2009 at 6:35am
A man of such great genius, a man whose music has given so many of us endless hours of immeasurable joy, who can, with a few notes, take us out of the doldrums and transport us into another world is, in my opinion, above criticism in everything except, perhaps, his metier, which is, of course, making music. We have no right to judge the private lives of others and they have no right to judge ours. I pray that I may go to heaven and sit attentively among a group of admirers to hear Stan play once again. If Bill and Chet are there as well, so much the better.
Comment by Bev Getz on January 25, 2009 at 10:00am
Beautiful! Thank you Paul! xo
Comment by Joannah on January 25, 2009 at 3:10pm
What a wonderful discussion! And it reminds me that some of life's most important lessons, such as tolerence and non-judgement, can be found, shared and applied in so many situations! A beautiful message is found in the words shared here :-)

AND my two cents... It is interesting to see what part of Stan, or any other artist to achieve a level of fame, that people focus on when it comes to their personal lives. Because although I know that Stan (as with every human being) had many layers, not all of which were good, I have never thought of any of anything negative when I think of him or listen to his music. And I certainly would never think of what he may or may not need to be forgiven for in the afterlife. Nor would I assume he lived his life in a hell. I would actually prefer to put a more positive spin on the life I thought he had, as of course, only Stan knows how he felt in his life just as we are all the only ones who truly know how we feel about ours. It is interesting indeed, what motivates people to think about the things they do or feel the way they do. And why anyone feels the need to place negative energy or judgements anywhere in this world, in any context on anyone, living or dead always boggles my mind. Speaking for myself of course, I would say that life is tough enough in actual reality so why add to that weight? And instead make life lighter by focusing on the positive in people and life as much as possible.... it's not always possible, I understand, but it is possible to always try :-)

All the best to everyone!
Comment by Hilde Hefte on January 25, 2009 at 6:07pm
This discussion is for me important, not because of what started this thread of comment and words from all of you, but because of the fact that dependence to alcohol or/and drugs is a huge theme to discuss. It's like having a split personality, and the person with his or her body filled with drugs is NOT the real person. This person react to alcohol and drugs like it's poison. AND this is also a huge problem when one wants to quit, not what people think is the problem like getting sober, but the fact that you have to deal with all the things you've been trying to forget by drinking and taking drugs. BUT the person that is showing himself/herself THEN is the real person.
For me Stan Getz is a master when it comes to music and I bow my head for what he did by getting clean and sober and face himself and all the people he loves. This person is STAN GETZ - the man who managed to face himself, his life, his dearest AND walking on stage being who he was without any chemical help.
And forgivnes, well we should all ask for forgivnes for what we do or have done from time to time, it makes us better human beings, better friends, better listeners and the result is we'll receive more ourselves.
Thank you for posting this Daniel. We need discussions like this from time to time.
Comment by Paul Wood on January 26, 2009 at 5:04am
It seems to me there are plenty of web sites and other institutions available for discussions relating to drugs and alcoholism. I just find it difficult to reconcile injecting these matters into a community dedicated to the worship of one of jazz's greatest contributors whose sole purpose in practicing his art form was to make people happy. If we really need discussions like this from time to time my question is, why on a site that purports to be all about music and if so, why not expand into politics, corruption, divorce, sexual abuse and more? Pardon me while I turn up the volume on my iPod.
Comment by Bev Getz on January 26, 2009 at 9:55am
Hi Paul! I certainly can understand why you would find the discussing of addiction to be inappropriate here on this site! While of course I REALLY hope we don't get into talking politics, or other dysfunctional(!) topics... I understand Hilde's post and do welcome and endorse it. To the point that would relate to musicians. I know that addictions cross over to all walks of life and musicians certainly do not hold any exclusive rights. However, since my dad was a 'victim' to it's clutches and it affected him and all around him for a major portion of his life, I think that it can't hurt to bring this subject up, at least in this thread, as his personality became the subject of "focus" (pun intended!).

I am wishing that my mother, Monica Getz was a member here right now, as educating people world wide on on Chemical Dependency has been her life's work. She has had first hand experience of course, and in essence, this scourge destroyed my parents *marriage. (* not an invite to bring up subject of divorce!! (-"...) Perhaps I'll send her this thread to temp her to join!

I myself, cannot claim to be any kind of expert on this subject. My experience with it has only been growing up around a drug/alcohol addicted parent. What I can claim to know, is that chemical dependency not only stunted my father personally, but in the end caused his death by liver cancer at the young age of 64. Had he lived to a ripe age, who knows what kind of treasures would be coming out of that horn. The last few years of his life were clean and sober. He was at last finding himself and getting his footing back, after losing it at the age of 15. He was excited about composing and doing all the things musically that he had never had the mind capacity to do as the addiction basically ruled his life.

The "Monster" Stan that (so many) people refer to when the topic of Stan personally comes up, IS the "Addict" Stan. Alcohol/drugs affected his brain in such a way that he literally became a Jekyll-Hyde. I can't even begin to describe how completely opposite of that he was when he was clean. Before I had an understanding of how chemicals affected his brain, I, along with most people, found it completely incongruous that he could behave in such a way, and at the same time, Heaven itself would be pouring out of his horn. I think it must have been purely by the Grace of God that he was able to play the way he did while under the influence. Which only goes to show to me that the person making that music, was the 'real' Stan. Not the addict. And of course, some of his best work was made after he got clean and sober.

So Paul... I fully understand you wanting to turn up the volume on your ipod! And I want to thank you and everyone who has given of their time and spoken their hearts.

While this forum was created to honor Stan and his music, I believe that it can only help to heal all the ugly and sometimes completely not factual thoughts that people have about him. So,... SO much of the rotten jazz folklore has been pinned on him alone. That really hurts my heart as he is not HERE and has no voice. I feel it's the responsibility of those who knew him personally to stand up and speak the truth... even the not so pretty truth.

I will add that I don't for a minute believe that even one note of such beauty could have come out of that horn if he wasn't truly that beautiful himself in his soul.

Thanks again to all of you who have shared. I think this is wonderful! :~D


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