Long before the success of his bossa nova Grammy winner “The Girl from Ipanema,” Stan Getz was a fixture in the pantheon of jazz greats. From his recording of “Early Autumn” with the Woody Herman band in 1949, which catapulted him to stardom at age twenty-two, to the 1961 jazz/classical masterpiece “Focus,” to the 1990 release of “Apasionado,” Getz’s forty-nine-year career is a tale of enduring artistic success in the midst of a troubled life. Getz struggled with heroin addiction until the age of twenty-seven and violent alcoholism until the last decade of his life, which led him into trouble with the law and marred his relationships with family and friends. Yet despite his self-destructive behavior, he was still creating gorgeous music at the time of his death from cancer in 1991. Maggin’s biography captures both the jazz legend and the troubled man with eloquence, honesty, and compassion.
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