443

Chet Baker: But Not For Me

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Chet Baker: But Not For Me It was easy to fall in and out of love with Chet Baker. The trumpeter and vocalist was indeed a devil with an angel’s face. His doleful approach to music drew listeners into his darkness for a brief stay at his melancholy hotel. Baker’s drug abuse eventually—it took a while—destroyed his talents. In between his dark bouts, glimpses of his genius were captured on record. In the later years of his life (he died in 1988 at age 59) his recordings were quite hit-and-miss. This 1982 session with an all-star rhythm section finds everyone, including Baker, in good form.

Mister Impeccable, Kenny Barron, anchors the date with steady accompaniment. Seemingly the perfect foil, the pianist’s touch is chock-full of background fills but also swinging blues solos.

Baker’s playing is marked with his signature vulnerable, frail sound. Where others might find this to be weakness, Baker leans on his assailabilty for expression. The poster child for the ineffable society is on his game here. Although not listed in the notes, Baker’s flugelhorn appears on the final track, “Prayer For the New Born.” Like the doleful “Lament,” taken from “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child,” “Prayer” touches on life’s tragedies in a way no current jazz trumpeter seems capable of doing.

James Newton and Howard Johnson play the flute and tuba respectively, accenting and supporting with great effect. On the vocal track “Four,” with its 1950s references to a ‘four-in-one girl,’ Johnson lays a wall-to-wall carpet of silky sound while Charlie Haden keeps the pulse. They lighten things up with a hipster's quick take on Gershwin’s “But Not For Me.”

While not an essential Baker recording, But Not For Me is a valuable resurrection from the out-of-print graveyard.


Track Listing: Lament; Four; Line For Lyons; Ellen David; But Not For Me; Prayer To The Newborn.

Personnel: Chet Baker - Trumpet, Vocals; Kenny Barron - Piano; Charlie Haden - Bass; Ben Riley - Drums; James Newton - Flute; Howard Johnson - Tuba.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Random Chance Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" CD/LP/Track Review The Magnificent Thad Jones
by Greg Simmons
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Impermanence" CD/LP/Track Review Impermanence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!