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Song of the Day #149

Song of the Day: I Remember When was composed and arranged by Eddie Sauter, conducted by Hershy Kay, and performed by the incomparable tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, along with an orchestra that included members of the Beaux-Arts Quartet, for the remarkable 1961 album, "Focus" (listen to an audio clip here). Here's what is remarkable: Getz was "handed a sketchy lead sheet of what had been scored for the orchestra of ten violins, four violas, two cellos, a bass, harp, and percussion. Not one note had been scored for him, nor had any areas been left open deliberately in the composition for his improvisation. ... His part would have to be wholly improvised over and through the fabric of the compositions Sauter had written for the orchestra." Because Getz crafted entirely new moods with each successive take, every track but one on this superb album derives from a single take (one was pieced together from two takes because both takes were so "fresh"). As Sauter put it, Getz "fitted his part into the fabric and made a whole." And what results, especially in this sensitive, lyrical, heart-tugging composition, remains one of the most challenging and inspiring performances in the history of recorded music. This album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.