Focus (Stan Getz album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Focus (Stan Getz).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedLate January 1962[1]
RecordedJuly 14, 1961 (#1-3)
July 28, 1961 (#4-7; strings)
Webster Hall, New York City
September-October 1961 (#2-7; Getz's parts)
Location unknown
GenreCool jazz, third stream
Length38:13 original LP
43:41 CD reissue
ProducerCreed Taylor
Stan Getz chronology
Jazz Jamboree '60
Jazz Samba
Professional ratings
Review scores
Down Beat5/5 stars[2]
Allmusic4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[4]

Focus is a jazz album recorded in 1961, featuring Stan Getz on tenor saxophone with a string orchestra. The album is a suite which was originally commissioned by Getz from composer and arranger Eddie Sauter. Widely regarded as a high point for both men's careers, Focus was described by Getz as his favorite of all his recordings.[5] The pair would next collaborate on their soundtrack to the 1965 film Mickey One.[6]


As noted in the booklet for the 1997 CD reissue, Sauter's orchestration did not include melodies for Getz. Rather, Sauter left spaces in the arrangements in which Getz would improvise. Documentation for the recording dates is incomplete, but the CD booklet reports that those involved in the original sessions recall that Getz recorded live with the strings on about half the songs, while he overdubbed sax solos on the others.

The theme of the opening track, "I'm Late, I'm Late", is nearly identical to the opening minutes of the second movement of Béla Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Bartók had been an early supporter of Sauter, who intended the track as an homage. "I'm Late, I'm Late" also features drummer Roy Haynes, the album's only soloist beside Getz.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" stating "Nobody ever arranged for Getz as well as this, and Sauter's luminous and shimmering scores continue to bewitch".[7] Similarly, critic Stephen Cook[8] describes Focus as "admittedly Getz's most challenging date and arguably his finest moment".

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Eddie Sauter.
  1. "I'm Late, I'm Late" – 8:10
  2. "Her" – 6:13
  3. "Pan" – 3:58
  4. "I Remember When" – 5:03
  5. "Night Rider" – 3:58
  6. "Once Upon a Time" – 4:48
  7. "A Summer Afternoon" – 6:03
  8. "I'm Late, I'm Late" [45 rpm issue] – 2:31 Bonus track on CD reissue
  9. "I Remember When" [45 rpm issue] – 2:57 Bonus track on CD reissue



  1. ^ "Billboard". 1962-02-03. p. 24. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  2. ^ Down Beat: March 29, 1962, vol. 29, no. 7
  3. ^ Stephen Cook. "Focus - Stan Getz | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  4. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 82. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  5. ^ "Stan Getz | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  6. ^ Music from the Sound Track of Mickey One at AllMusic
  7. ^ Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. "Stan Getz". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 495. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  8. ^ Stephen Cook. "Focus - Stan Getz | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-16.

External links[edit]