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Beatlemania at 50: George Martin's jazz tracks

George Martin produced Stan Getz
George Martin produced Stan Getz

Of course, much of the Beatles’ success and enduring legacy rests with their producer, George Martin. He remains arguably the most influential producer the recording industry has ever known; indeed, it can be said that through his near-decade association with the Beatles – in which he played an essential role in not just recording the hits but expanding the very vocabulary of pop music – Martin had a profound impact on global 20th century culture.
Martin remains best known for those recordings but his production credits extend beyond the Beatles – he recorded any number of British Invasion acts, produced hits for America, helmed a UFO album, did two Bond themes (“Goldfinger,” “Live and Let Die”) and worked with the likes of Cheap Trick, Ultravox, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones, you name it. The list is simply too long to include here.
One constant in Martin’s career has been jazz. The six-disc box set chronicling his output, “Produced by George Martin: 50 Years in Recording,” includes tracks from British jazz mainstay Humphrey Lyttelton, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Kenny Baker Quartet, Graeme Bell and His Australian Jazz Band, Stan Getz (the "Marrakesh Express" album) and John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Sadly, the jazzy side of George got short shrift on the 1997 all-star tribute album he compiled, “In My Life.” While Jeff Beck shredded his way through “A Day in the Life” and Celine Dion applied her vocal pyrotechnics to “Here, There and Everywhere,” jazz fans had to be satisfied with Goldie Hawn (!) fronting a would-be seductive take on “A Hard Day’s Night” (!!).
Martin has released this statement regarding the golden anniversary

I am amazed how quickly time passes and that the Beatles appeared in New York for the first time 50 years ago. Hard to believe – I feel like Rumpelstiltskin! The first record I produced with them – 'Love Me Do' was merely a warm up. 'Please Please Me' was the biggie that swept Britain in 1964 and paved the way for their debut in the USA. And when that happened it was like an exploding keg of dynamite.
The wonderful people of America took the Beatles into their hearts and never let go. They were crazy days, and I remember being in New York and listening to the radio, and no matter where you turned the dial you would hear the Beatles singing. It was complete saturation, never before heard and never since. The Boys loved the USA and they loved performing there, but the world now demanded their attention, so they began an exhausting round of Europe and the States in an effort to satisfy the demand for their attention.
The people of America have always been generous to those that they like, and the Beatles will always be grateful for that wonderful display of love and support they received back in the Sixties. Me too!”

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