Stan Getz / Dizzy Gillespie / Sonny Stitt ‎– For Musicians Only

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For Musicians Only is a 1958 jazz album by Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt incorporating bebop influences.

Recorded in Los Angeles, California on October 16, 1956, it has been described as the “real thing, no pretense”.

Drummer Stan Levey’s son, Bob, described the recording session as told by his father:

“The story behind this from my Dad’s (Stan Levey) point of view is that everything was done in one take no 2nd takes no over dubbing. He had spent the whole day recording for TV, Mission Impossible Mannix etc. So he thought a date with Stan Getz this should be pretty laid back. Well nothing could be further from the truth he said “The count offs were breath taking but once they got thru BeBop everything settled down” his favorite was Wee Allen’s Alley. It was virtually a live real Bebop session, nothing worked out, just play by the seat of your pants or get off the bandstand. Like it or not that was the way it was with Bird and those cats, the real thing no pretense.”

“Often in the early days of the modern jazz movement, players would come up with the most dazzling tempos, complex chord changes, intricate melodies, and tricky rhythmic breaks imaginable, as much to challenge themselves as to keep the squares from trying to get on the bandstand and jam. For Musicians Only is just that, and then some. Gillespie, the great virtuoso trumpeter, is joined on the front line by Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt for a blowing session of phenomenal proportions. Gillespie’s demanding tune “Bebop,” and Denzil Best’s “Wee (Allen’s Alley)” (based on “I Got Rhythm”) are given brisk, wailing treatments. Both tunes highlight Stitt’s scampering alto, Getz’s dancing, mentholated tenor (very much in his Lester Young mode), and Gillespie’s coiled, tempestuous trumpet. The tough, swinging rhythm section really distinguishes itself on the standards “Dark Eyes” and “Lover Come Back to Me” (particularly bassist Ray Brown). They always manage to keep a hint of the basic tune in the foreground, no matter how free the soloists get. Gillespie is inspired throughout, and For Musicians Only contains some of his spunkiest, most pugnacious solos.” – AllMusic.

Track listing:

A1 Be-Bop 0:00
A2 We (My Honey And Me) 12:48
B1 Dark Eyes 21:18
B2 Lover Come Back To Me 33:22

Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet
Sonny Stitt – alto saxophone
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
John Lewis – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Stan Levey – drums


Released: 1958
Recorded: October 16, 1956
Radio Recorders, Los Angeles
Length: 42:59 original LP
Label: Verve
MGV 8198
Producer: Norman Granz