In my family, we have a habit of rubbing our hands together briskly whenever we’re excited about something or really enjoying ourselves. And when i listen to Stan Getz, my hands damned-near catch fire.
i don’t actually know that much about Getz, besides the fact that i believe he was somewhat of a junkie, he screwed around with his friends wife, and oh, he used to dabble in music a bit.
The junk is almost the stuff of legend in certain circles. And time after time i hear it being credited with the key to his genius. Now don’t get me wrong, that cat could Blow!, but i have to wonder, did the drugs add to – or actually hinder – his genius? i mean, what would he have produced had he stayed “straight” instead?
Now again, i’m not clear as to what was his drug of choice was (nor do i care, really). But i can tell you, during my little foray into “substance experimentation”, never did i try one that compelled me onto greatness of any sort, let alone moments of “genius”. In fact, the only real compulsion ever experienced during those times was simply towards consuming as many beef and cheese burritos as possible.
The microwavable kind.
That being said, as a wiser and older man (well, older at any rate), i no longer feel that drugs are necessary “for growth”, “fun at parties” or are even “cool”. Much like many before me, i grew out of it, i moved on. In part because of stories such as the one concerning the death of Jimmy Hendrix (i won’t repeat it here, but you should look it up – definitely not the way i want to go…) and also because of people like Stan Getz. i read that he ended up moving to Copenhagen to “escape” his drug habits, and quite frankly, i just don’t have that kind of cash.
The first time i heard “Jazz Samba”, i almost fell asleep. The second time i heard it, i almost fell out of my chair. Despite the fact that Getz had a drug problem, despite even the fact that he turned down Juilliard for a career in jazz, he was a genius. And that cat really could blow!