Today is the birthdate of two famous American saxophonist, and they share something in common besides birthdays. Stan Getz, from Philadelphia, was born on this day in 1927. He was known for his distinctive style and was one of the leaders of the cool jazz and bossa nova genres. If you’ve read ii-V-I: A JassOdyssey, you’ll know that while driving through Pennsylvania, Roland ‘schooled’ Miles on Getz. I won’t go into detail discussing this Philadelphian, but if you want to read about the conversation, consult the book.
The second great saxophonist born today in 1924 was Edward Boatner, better know as Sonny Stitt. Edward grew up in Saginaw, Michigan where he was adopted by the Stitt family. Sonny was famous for his bebop/hard bop style of play. He was given the nickname “Lone Wolf” due to his devotion to jazz and extensive touring. Early in his career he met Charlie Parker. Stitt was so impressed with him that, after many years of practice, he could duplicate Parker’s musical style. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Eventually Stitt developed his own unique style and was so popular that he recorded over 100 albums.
As I mentioned earlier they have something in common beside dates of birth. The two ‘birthday boys’ were featured on the album ‘For Musicians Only”, which was recorded in 1956. The album also included Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Ray brown, Stan Levy, and Herb Ellis.To honor these two ‘Titans of Jazz’ we will make ‘For Musician Only’ the ‘Jazz Album of the Day’.