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Bing Crosby and Stan Getz: Two New Anthologies

Stan Getz's final bow, and Bing Crosby's treasure-trove of previously-unreleased small-group recordings of standards.

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  • Stan Getz People Time

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    Photo: CD cover

    PEOPLE TIME offers an in-depth look at some of saxophonist Stan Getz's final performances.

  • Bing Crosby Mosaic set

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    Photo: CD cover

    Bing Crosby taped hundreds of songs for his mid-1950s radio series. Previously unreleased, these recordings showcase Crosby in a small-group setting, running through a wide variety of standards.

A great camaraderie

People Time is a valedictory collection of performances that saxophonist Stan Getz did with pianist Kenny Barron in 1991. Getz was very ill when he made these dates; he had been diagnosed with cancer in 1987.

Getz had led a rather turbulent life, underscored by long-term substance abuse, and had just gotten sober not long before the diagnosis (when he learned of his illness he joked, “I’m too evil to die”). He managed to fight off his disease using holistic methods for several years, but it had finally overtaken him with a vengeance just several months before he and Barron went to Copenhagen to do these duet shows.

Getz and Barron had a great camaraderie; they’d been playing together in the saxophonist’s quartet for four years. Getz passed away several months after these concerts, and the recordings came out as a two-CD set called People Time.

Now the entire four-night set of performances has been released as The Complete People Time, and across the scope of it you can really hear not only Stan Getz’s brave and still-masterful playing, but also how Kenny Barron anticipated and responded to Getz, and also stepped in from time to time to keep things going whenever Getz’s energy flagged.

A jazzy tour of the Great American Songbook

In the mid-1950s Bing Crosby hosted a short, daily radio show for CBS. The singer made hundreds of recordings to for possible use on the program, creating a stockpile of music, much of it remaining in the vaults and never played on the air.

Backed by pianist/organist Buddy Cole’s trio, Crosby took a jazzy tour of the Great American Songbook in these sessions (including Cole Porter, a composer Crosby otherwise rarely interpreted), a real contrast with much of the work he did for the Decca label on his commercial recordings from the same era.

We’ll highlight a few selections from the 7-CD box-set that Mosaic Records recently released, which includes 160 of the sides Crosby recorded for his radio show.

Music Heard On This Episode

The Tender Trap
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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The Tender Trap
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)

Notes: Also available directly from Mosaic Records.

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New Sun in the Sky
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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East of the Sun
Stan Getz — Complete People Time (Sunnyside, 2010)

Notes: Also available on a 2-CD edition.

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It's All Right With Me
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)

Notes: Also available directly from Mosaic Records.

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Keepin' Out of Mischief Now
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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When My Baby Smiles at Me
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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I'll Never Say Never Again
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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People Time
Stan Getz — Complete People Time (Sunnyside, 2010)

Notes: Also available on a 2-CD edition.

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At the Jazz Band Ball
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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I Can't Get Started
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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It's a Most Unusual Day
Bing Crosby — CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56 (Mosaic, 2009)
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Night and Day
Stan Getz — Complete People Time (Sunnyside, 2010)

Notes: Also available on a 2-CD edition.

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All Through the Night
Bing Crosby — Complete People Time (Sunnyside, 2009)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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