Susan Getz

Susan Getz

BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

Asked to describe her own style, Susan answers with a smile, "complex harmonies and driving rhythms, economic melodies and pure, rich tones.... like Ernest Hemingway writes. He doesn't put in a lot of extra words, but he's very descriptive."

Biography

Susan Getz—Looking for the “Inevitable Note”
Warm, direct singer-songwriter scores with heartfelt CD,
The Green Eyed Girl

With her first CD, 2005’s Jazz Boxx, Susan Getz announced her herself on the scene as a singer with a graceful, assured voice, denoting a quiet yet powerful inner strength and a refreshingly unique style. With the recent release of her newest effort, The Green Eyed Girl, Getz takes another step forward, establishing herself as a songwriter with a subtly distinctive approach and the confidence to highlight a calm warmth over dazzle and flash.

The Green Eyed Girl offers listeners instant delights and a clear view into Getz’s ever maturing-artistry. While Jazz Boxx consisted predominantly of covers, with four Getz originals mixed in, Green Eyed Girl reverses that formula. Getz displays her sure composer’s touch with eight originals, with a pair of covers to balance the mix.

A varied, intriguing recording

Getz shows, as well, her delightful flair for skillfully blending musical genres. As she puts it, “This album is not straight jazz or pop or blues or rock but a kaleidoscope of hues and simple intimate songs. And yet the songs and arrangements are firmly based in jazz harmonies and chord colors.”

This approach is immediately evident on The Green Eyed Girl’s opening track, the yearning ballad “Standing Before You Asking You to Share My Life.” Getz’s vocals gently blend nuances of desire and vulnerability, themes reinforced by twin keyboard voices: the gospel-tinged organ of David K. Matthews and David-Michael Ruddy’s lilting piano lines. There’s even a delightful “wedding version” of the tune at the end of the CD.

“My songs are an ode to the American experience,” Getz explains. “Family and separation, travel and how it changes you, the restlessness of the heart. All of these were on my mind as I wrote this music.”

The charming “Shadows” speaks to this notion directly. Getz sings the number in duet with her 15-year-old daughter, Caroline. It’s the song of a mother and daughter facing the bittersweet moment of moving away from each other, and the interplay between the singers is underscored deftly by sensitive support from trumpeter Erik Jekabson and saxophonist Dayna Stephens. It’s notable that Caroline Getz wrote the lines she sings, and we realize that it’s not only the parent who might long wistfully for the ability to “make time stop.”

And so it goes throughout the CD. The shimmering, shifting tempos of “Little Blue Flowers,” the lovely straight-forward, self-portrait of the title track and the sassy New Orleans lift of “Honey Pie” are only a few of the highlights. The two covers blend in seamlessly, as Getz refashions the Beatles’ “Drive My Car” into a delightful cool-jazz samba and gives a 60s soul-jazz feel to Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.”

The maturing of a style

Getz, who lists Peggy Lee, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto as her musical influences, has become adept at letting her music breathe, at finding the space between the notes where the spirit of the music truly lies.

As Getz explains it, “I think it was Miles Davis who said, 'Don't worry about playing a lot of notes. Just find one pretty one.' That's what I go for in my music. I look for the inevitable note. The note that ought to be there. When you find that note, you don’t need much around it.”

Indeed, Winthrop Bedford of Jazz Improv Magazine, made that same comparison when he wrote, "Like some of the most mature players, masters of subtlety—Miles Davis, Shirley Horn—Susan Getz makes the most with the fewest notes."

It’s that straightforward approach, Getz’s respect for melody and avoidance of musical artifice, that listeners will find to their pleasure throughout The Green Eyed Girl.

The eminence of the supporting cast on The Green Eyed Girl in itself presents testimony to the stature that Getz has achieved in her hometown of San Francisco. The CD was produced by Oz Fritz, whose credits include work with major stars, from Iggy Pop to Tony Williams and Elvin Jones. Saxophonist Dayna Stephens is a Thelonious Monk competition winner whose 2007 CD, The Timeless Now, rose to 13 on Billboard jazz charts. Organist David K. Matthews is a veteran of Tower of Power and tours regularly with soul legend Etta James. Erik Jekabson is one of the Bay Area’s most talented young trumpeters. Pianist David Michael-Ruddy, guitarist Ricardo Piexoto, bassist David Ewell and drummer Jemal Ramirez complete the group that backs Getz so deftly.

“Working with these great musicians has helped me so much in expanding my own musical interests and perspectives,” Getz says. The quality of the players and the strong empathy between them allowed the music to gain the rewarding, if paradoxical, blend of freedom and cohesion that Getz was seeking. Listen to the instrumental section of Getz’s “Ride,” for example, to hear how the musicians, while constantly in contact, search out their own routes, often playing off eac

Lyrics

The Green Eyed Girl

Written By: Susan Getz

Look at her hair come tumbling down
around her smile.
Asking you in and just to stay while,
There under the spell of The Green Eyed Girl.

Watching the world come tumbling down
around her tears.
Taking her hand and brushing away the fear,
There under the spell of The Green Eyed Girl.

Everything changes whenever she's near.
Why fight the feeling when love's not a feeling that you should fight? Feels right!

Letting your heart feel freer each day
And learn to breathe.
Love helps you see with eyes of a child if you believe,
And stay where you're doing well
Under the spell of The Green Eyed Girl.

Ride

Written By: Susan Getz

Took the train to a mountain town
Felt like the sky was falling down
But no it was my crazy notion of love.

Tried to ride on the merry-go-round
Thought I felt the world spinning ‘round
But no it was my crazy notion of love.

Ride, ride, ride.
Ride, ride, ride.
Up and down
Side to side.

If I go I go with you.
If I stay I stay with you.
If I go.

Made the trip up to the sun
Felt like I was the chosen one
But no it was my crazy notion of love.

Ride, ride, ride.
Ride, ride, ride.
Ride, ride, ride.
Ride, ride, ride.
Stay or go it’s just a notion.

The Gate Stands Open

Written By: Susan Getz

The Gate Stands Open

Swing, swing, singing like a gate in the breeze
Reading and saying anything I please
Relax and come along with me to the other side
As time slides by.

Dream, dream, dreaming my life
And all the people beside me
All dreaming.
Relax and take my hand
After a while understand.
As time slides by.

If you’re feeling low
I will wait while you cry
Later we’ll laugh at the ups and downs
The things we cannot know

Think, think, thinking of you
Waiting to see tomorrow
And we’ll laugh at the terrible beauty of life
The ups and downs
The things we cannot know.

The Gate Stands Open

Written By: Susan Getz

Swing, swing, singing like a gate in the breeze
Reading and saying anything I please
Relax and come along with me to the other side
As time slides by.

Dream, dream, dreaming my life
And all the people beside me
All dreaming.
Relax and take my hand
After a while understand.
As time slides by.

If you’re feeling low
I will wait while you cry
Later we’ll laugh at the ups and downs
The things we cannot know

Think, think, thinking of you
Waiting to see tomorrow
And we’ll laugh at the terrible beauty of life
The ups and downs
The things we cannot know.

Honeypie

Written By: Susan Getz

Honeypie, oh, my my,
You know I love you and you make smile
Ev’ry time you come by
Oh my Honeypie.

Honeypie, oh, my my,
How I love to hear you moan and sigh
A little closer’s nice
Don’t be shy
Oh my Honeypie.

And Oh! Oh! Oh!
What a sweet treat you provide!
And No! No! No!
I’ll never let you go
I want you right here by my side.

Honeypie, Oo!Oo!Oo!
Sweet baby stay with me ‘cause I love you.
Just say that you’ll agree or I’ll be blue.
Honeypie I love you!
I really mean it!
Honeypie I love you!

Standing Before You Asking You To Share My Life

Written By: Susan Getz

I’m like a reed on the waters edge
Bending in the wind
Reaching for the sky
I’m Standing Before You Asking You To Share My Life.

I’m like a bough on a willow tree
Hanging in the shade
River rushing by
I’m Standing Before You Asking You To Share My Life.

Loving you is the only thing to occupy my time.
If you feel the way I do come put your hand in mine.

‘Cause I’m like a wild rose on the vine
Reaching for the sun
Gone when summer’s done
I’m Standing Before You Asking You To Share My Life.

Little Blue Flowers

Written By: Susan Getz

Little Blue Flowers floating in the water
What color is the sky?
Shades of colors run among the trees
Restless hearts yearning to be free.

Little red flowers dancing in the air
What color is the Wind?
Watching colors change like memories
Restless hearts yearning to be free.

Memories like vivid colors
That’s what’s left of you and me.
Stopping time to keep us young
But no regrets for you and me.

Little green flowers growing in the garden
What color is the earth?
Colors painting scenes of you and me
Restless hearts yearning to be free.

Memories like vivid colors
That’s what’s left of you and me.
Stopping time to keep us young
But no regrets for you and me.

Little white flowers burning in the fire
What color is the sun?
Shades of colors run and run and run
Restless hearts yearning.
You and me laughing
And you and me turning old
Memories run and run and run.

One 4 Mary

Written By: Susan Getz

Be still
And you might hear the whisper of a heart that has been broken
That felt the rain and pain and more misery than any human heart ought to see.
Don’t laugh or turn aside
It just might be to your advantage to listen to a heart cry.

Be still Love will heal everything
Be still Love will heal everything
Be still Love will heal everything
Be still Love will heal everything

Be still
And the lonely whisper of a heart that has been broken
Might turn into a deafening cacophony
Or a very sad melody
Between you and me
Emotion in a sea of reason
Between you and me
Between you and me
Emotion in a sea of reason

Be still Love will heal everything
(Repeat and fade)

Shadows

Written By: Susan Getz

Shadows by Caroline and Susan Getz, pop/top 40

I can’t remember a time I didn’t know your name
No matter what else changed we were always the same
You and me. Me and you.
It was something I knew
If we could turn back the clock would that make time stop?

My shadow fades to black
And then the sun changes back
Today I watched you walk away
And I don’t know what to say.

I can’t imagine the way that it’s going to be
I need you by my side
I need you here with me.
Do you remember living with out me or being on your own?
I need to leave. We both will learn to stand alone.
Alone.

All the colors fade to blue
Red, green and yellow too.
Today I watched you walk away
And I don’t know what to say.

I see you black and white but I don’t know what it means
‘Cause when I look at everyone else I see every shade of grey in between.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

My shadow fades to black
And then the sun changes back
Today I watched you walk away
And I don’t know what to say.
Today I watched you walk away.

Discography

Susan Getz/Jazz Boxx/LT5356791
Susan Getz/The Green Eyed Girl/LT5356792
yes streaming and radio airplay

Set List

Standing Before You Asking You To Share My Life- Susan Getz
Ride-Susan Getz
Shadows- Susan Getz
Honeypie-Susan Getz
Little Blue Flowers- Susan Getz
Honeymoon- Robert Palmer cover
The Long And Winding Road- Lennon/McCartney cover
Say Goodbye To Love- Susan Getz original
I Need Your Love So Bad - John Mertis Jr.
Song For My Lover -- Susan Getz original
That's All --Alan Brandt/Bob Haymes
Peace Dream--Susan Getz original
Sweet Blues -- Susan Getz original
Come Together - Lennon/McCartney cover

Set times:45- 70 minutes, 2 -3 sets depending on venue
Typical repertoire includes uniquely arranged covers and originals.