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Noon Edition

Bing Crosby and Stan Getz: Two New Anthologies

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.

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