Down Beat (3/29/62) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...FOCUS is a pithy, thoughtful and extraordinarily attractive set of seven pieces for string orchestra and tenor saxophone, not quite like anything ever before attempted. It ranks with the best of the Gil Evans-Miles Davis collaborations..."
Personnel includes: Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Hershey Kay (conductor); Alan Martin, Gerald Tarack, Norman Carr (violin); Jacob Glick (viola); Bruce Rogers (cello); John Neves (bass); Roy Haynes (drums).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producers: Michael Lang, Ben Young.
Recorded in July, September and October 1961. Includes liner notes by Dom Cerulli and Joe Goldberg.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Chris Herles (Polygram Studios).
This is part of the Verve Master Edition series.
A year or two shy of his bossa nova success, Stan Getz set his mind to improvising against a backdrop of darkish yet scintillating string charts. The orchestral muscle was provided by arranger Eddie Sauter; the heady and fluid horn lines, of course, came from Getz. The jazz star might have been all airy samba fog to some, but on this classic date he really showed his expansive horn talents: whether leaping and yelping on such galvanizing sides as "I'm Late, I'm Late" or ingeniously responding to the many shades heard in a grand ballad like "I Remember When," Getz is never short on ideas or panache. Admittedly Getz's most challenging date and arguably his finest moment, Focus roams the vast jazz landscape outside of bop and boogaloo to fabulous and memorable effect. [The 2003 Japanese reissue is identical to the original release. It does have dynamically remastered sound and an exact miniature replica of the original gatefold cover in thick cardboard with a rice paper sleeve.] ~ Stephen Cook
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