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Opinion/Editorial

On the Banks of the Jabbok With Chet Baker

By Published: September 30, 2012
"You do not feel like shouting 'Yeah,' after a Chet Baker solo. All that tenderness, turmoil and pain has driven you too far inside. He reaches that same part of us as the late Beethoven string quartet, a spiritual hole where music becomes religion..."


..."where music becomes religion."

It is in this dimension that Baker's enigmatic playing and singing gains purchase, just as Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
's did on Lady in Satin (Columbia, 1958) and Last Recordings (MGM, 1959), and Lester Young on Lester Young in Washington D.C., 1956 (OJC. 1956). It is here where Baker joins Mozart where the music transforms from mathematics to the sublime mystic in that composer's Requiem's unfinished Lacrimosa:

Lacrimosa dies ilia
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.

Mournful that day
When from the dust shall rise
Guilty man to be judged.


Photo Credits

Page 1: Guy Foncke
Page 2: Michel Verreckt


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