In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Monday, April 1, 2013


Stan Getz – Jurre Haanstra

Forest Eyes (OST)

CBS ‎– CBS 84113 – Netherlands, 1980

Nice gatefold album bought for 1 euro at the annual spring “brocante” in my Brussels’ neighbourhood.  I had never heard about this album which seems to have been forgotten by CD re-issue programs – obviously for good reasons IMHO - until very recently since it was included in a recent CBS box set.   This is a mp3 rip from my LP .  If you want it in a higher definition (I doubt anyone would spend more than 1 euro on this album, despite – I repeat – a nice gatefold sleeve), get the box set (and still you won’t get the nice gatefold sleeve, which is the best part of the album).

I wanted to know if I was the only one to find this album dreadful.  As you all know, Stan Getz is a bit of an icon in jazz circles, therefore daring to criticize (some of) his works may be verging pretty close to anathema.  But, being iconoclastic by nature, I persist and sign.  Anyhow, I did a search on the net and found two fairly different sets of opinions.

On the one side, Doug Payne who’s pretty benign in his assessment: “Getz is typically lovely from start to finish”.

On the other side, I found on the French Amazon website a rather sarcastic but lucid comment  Stan Getz nous livre ici ce qui est sans doute la plus mauvaise prestation de sa carriere (Stan Getz gives us here what is probably the worst performance of his whole career).  No more Mr Nice

Doug Payne: the nice guy
Forest Eyes, a “strings” album the tenor saxophonist recorded in Holland in late 1979 with Dutch composer Jurre Haanstra. The little-known album has never appeared before in the United States and recalls such previous Getz triumphs waxed years earlier with Eddie Sauter, namely Focus (Verve, 1962) and the soundtrack album Mickey One (Verve, 1965). Haanstra (b. 1952), best known as a composer of film and TV scores, notably for his father, director Bert Haanstra (1916-97), and for the popular Dutch detective series Baantjer, featuring harmonica player Jean 'Toots' Thielemans as guest soloist, got his start as a jazz drummer and percussionist (he plays drums on this album’s “Tails Part 2” and “Little Lady”). He has since gone on to become a world-class conductor and composer and arranger for a diverse range of artists including Petula Clark, Michael Franks, Johnny Griffin, Julian Joseph, Michel Petrucciani and Clark Terry. Haanstra crafts a lovely canvas for Getz to splash his lyrical watercolors upon here, mixing traditional orchestral jazz with some late 70s fusion grooves, among which stand out as the album’s best moments (the Bob James-like “Tails Part 1 & 2” and “Little Lady” especially). Though often considered a soundtrack album, Forest Eyes only features several of Jurre Haanstra’s songs from his father Bert’s 1979 film Een Pak Slaag (the main theme, “Shades of Blue,” “Silva” and “Eye of The Storm”). Getz is typically lovely from start to finish. But brief as it is, Forest Eyes sadly never offers that one compositional moment that makes you feel this is anywhere near as significant as something like Focus. Forest Eyes was issued on CD in Europe in the mid ‘90s and has long been out of print until now.

La plus mauvaise période de Stan Getz se situe entre 1967 et 1980. Victime de ses addictions (à l'alcool et à la drogue), il enregistre quelques rares réussites et de nombreux autres disques assez médiocres voire, pour certains, désastreux.
Stan Getz nous livre ici ce qui est sans doute la plus mauvaise prestation de sa carrière.
Entre cordes et synthétiseurs, la musique est dans de trop rares moments sans intérêt, le reste du temps pénible.
Les thèmes de Jurre Haanstra sont d'une indigence rare.
1/ "We Are Free : Sur un arrangement "symphonique", notre liberté nous est précieuse car elle nous permet de zapper très vite. A noter, pour être objectif, la magnifique sonorité de Stan.
2/ "Tails Part 1 & 2" : Là, on a droit au synthé sur du binaire. Un gérant de super marché qui passerait ça prendrait le risque de faire fuir ses clients.
3/ "Shades Of Blue" est le thème principal du film "Een Park Slaag" que les cinéphiles ont pu éviter sous son autre nom "Mr. Slotter's Jubilee". Si le thème semble s'inspirer, mais juste dans les premières notes de certaines compositions de Nino Rota, c'est plus le plagiat de quelques accords et l'inspiration a donné lieu à une expiration de mauvaise haleine.
4/ "Heron's Flight" On attend toujours le décollage du héron.
5/ "Forest Eyes" nous rend heureux que la forêt n'ait pas d'oreilles.
6/ "Drowsy" est un thème guilleret, sans doute le moins pire du disque car il laisse plus de liberté à Stan pour s'exprimer. Mais bon, pas de quoi crier "venez écouter".
7/ "Silva" est un autre thème tiré du même film que "Shades Of Blue". Si l'on a faim, cela peut servir de soupe sans saveur. Le compositeur devait être un précurseur du recyclage des déchets.
8/ "Little Lady" est mon "plus pire" avec "Tails Part 1 & 2"

9/ "Eye Of The Storm" : troisième morceau tiré du même film a deux qualités : on retrouve la sonorité de Stan et, surtout, c'est le dernier morceau du CD.
Enregistré en Hollande en 1979, ce disque a été édité en Hollande en 1980, ponctuant ainsi de la pire des manières la plus mauvaise décennie de Getz.

Tracklist & Credits
A1       We Are Free   5:11
A2       Tails - Part 1 & 2        6:00
Bass Guitar – Paul Bagmeyer / Drums – Jurre Haanstra / Electric Piano – Rob Franken / Guitar – Henk Braaf

A3       Shades Of Blue (Main Theme From The Bert Haanstra Film "Een Pak Slaag")     3:14    
A4       Heron's Flight 4:02
B1       Forest Eyes     3:20
B2       Drowsy           4:07
Bass – Jan Hollestelle / Drums – Victor Jones (2) / Electric Piano – Jurre Haanstra / Guitar – Chuck Loeb / Percussion – Jurre Haanstra, Willy Tjon Ajong / Synthesizer – Peter Schön

B3       Silva (From The Film "Een Pak Slaag")        3:30
B4       Little Lady     4:00
Arranged By – Henk Braaf, Jurre Haanstra / Bass Guitar – Paul Bagmeyer / Drums – Jurre Haanstra / Electric Piano – Willy Tjon Ajong / Guitar – Henk Braaf / Synthesizer – Peter Schön

B5       Eye Of The Storm (From The Film "Een Pak Slaag")          2:52    
•          Composed By, Arranged By, Conductor, Producer – Jurre Haanstra
•          Concertmaster – Benny Behr
•          Tenor Saxophone – Stan Getz
•          Double Bass – Koos Serierse (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B4)
•          Electric Piano – Rob Van Kreeveld (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1)
•          Piano – Rob Van Kreeveld (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1)
•          Producer – Ruud Jacobs
•          Recorded By, Engineer [Mixing] – Emile Elsen



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  3. many thanks for allowing us to hear this. pretty (!) naff getz indeed but he had other muzak contexts too. overrated generally getz, always contrived, mannered, posed. but good enough in parts. 'stan getz paid for playing me' as pres once observed.