Bob Carter – bass
Morey Feld – drums
Arnold Fishkind – bass
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
Sanford Gold – piano
Don Lamond – drums
Johnny Smith – guitar
Eddie Safranski – bass
You're sitting in your study, smoking your pipe and sipping fine brandy or scotch by your fireplace. Perhaps you're reading some Hemingway or discussing philosophy with your equally classy acquaintance. Perhaps you're simply taking in the beauty of the evening and life itself. Regardless of what refined activity you're partaking in, this is the album you need for it.
As over-the-top as that paragraph was, Moonlight In Vermont is one of the quintessential cool jazz albums. It was an incredibly important album for the careers of Smith and Getz alike, bringing them both into the limelight.
Speaking as a guitarist, Smith's work here is unreal. Between his beautiful chordal renditions of "I'll Be Around" and "Moonlight in Vermont" and his blazing lines that harmonize perfectly with Getz on tracks like "Jaguar" and "Cherokee", you have a musical treasure. I could write endlessly about Smith's piano-esque chord work, but the musicality of "Where or When" and the haunting beauty of "Yesterdays" should be let to speak for themselves. Stan Getz is another, equally powerful force on this album that simply can't be ignored. I can't think of a specific track to highlight for his work - each note he plays stands out in its own sweet way.
For anyone who enjoys cool jazz, this is a must-have. For anyone looking to get into jazz, this is a perfect album. Two powerhouses of the genre appear together to create a masterpiece that I consider blessed to have heard - this album is why a younger me picked up jazz guitar, and after listening to it countless times since then, it truly has never gotten old.
Last edited by smartguyreviews at May 30, 2012,
Can it be Scotch instead of Brandy? If so, I'm in.
I've never heard much getz before the bossa nova period, I'll definitely check this out
Echo and Twang characterized it as "complete with Smith's clear, reverb-tinged sound, his fleet-fingered but relaxed three-octave runs, and above all his lush, close-voiced, chord melody style." Guitar World read more described it as "a perfect illustration of [Smith's] mastery of the guitar's subtle inner-string voicings
Just found my new transcription exercise. Tabu's head is killer.
Smith was voted New Star–Guitar in the 1953 DownBeat Critics Poll, and in 1954 he topped the Guitar category in DownBeat’s Readers Poll. HATS OFF t him and his work
My uncle taught me the chord melody arrangement of Moonlight in Vermont from that album when I was about 13 years old. Man those chords were great and really helped me to learn those jazz grips when I was a total nube with theory. I learned the tune and spent years as an adult analyzing it. Brilliant, brilliant Johnny Smith.