Losing Focus

Focus 2Almost two years ago I disclosed with some excitement that videotape existed of portions of a television performance of Focus, the classic collaboration between Stan Getz and the brilliant composer and arranger Eddie Sauter. The Rifftides staff tracked down the clip and posted it. I hope that you got a chance to see it because whoever put the video on YouTube seems to have been in violation. The copyright holder took offense. New Zealand Reader Tom King forwarded this report from his friend John Goodchild:

At the time I did look at the video and thought the sound was quite good (although the image was about what you would expect from a 1963 tele-recording). I went back to Rifftides to have another look at it. However, unfortunately all you get when you try to view it is a note saying that the clip has been removed because of “multiple copyright issues”! So you now know the recording exists but you can’t watch it. Sorry about that.

Let us hope that the copyright roadblock can be removed and the video restored. As discussed in that October, 2011 post, Focus is one of the great albums of the second half of the last century, regardless of genre. Here is a sample, “I’m Late, I’m Late.” The drummer, dancing with wire brushes, is Roy Haynes. There is no video. Close your eyes and make your own pictures. You might just see the Mad Hatter.

Revision, as of September 11 at 9:40:33 AM PDT. Tom King sent the bad news yesterday. Now another Rifftides reader, Mike Kaiser, sends the good news. See the link he provided in the third comment below.

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  1. Kenny Harris says

    One of my favourite all-time recordings I had it on vinyl and now on CD. You may remember that “I’m Late, I’m Late” consists of two takes tacked (Creed Taylor’s word) together. At my wedding to Nell we had two tracks playing – ‘Her’ and ‘I Remember When,’

  2. Dr. Mike Baughan says

    As the token Rifftides optometrist, I can’t seem to make things any clearer with this video. Sorry. Rifftides vision is quite clear however. Slipping out of Focus here. Enough already.
    Here’s looking at you, etc.etc.

  3. David says

    The CD booklet in the ‘97 reissue states that the Hunter College performance was the only time Stan played the piece live. If this is from a TV variety show, it’s unlikely that the entire piece was performed. Donald Maggin, Getz’s biographer, references performances of “I’m Late” by the quartet with Burton. Zoot Sims performed “Focus” a few times with college orchestras.