363

Chet Baker: Indian Summer and The Quintessence

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count








Chet Baker
Indian Summer
Dutch Jazz Archive
2007


Chet Baker
The Quintessence
Fremeaux & Assoc.
2007




Hooray! Chet Baker, who died 20 years ago this month, lives again like a breath of fresh springtime air on these newly released CDs.

Indian Summer was recorded in September 1955 on two consecutive nights at two different venues in The Netherlands. The personnel consisted of Baker (trumpet and vocals), pianist Dick Twardzik (who died of a drug overdose during the tour), Jimmy Bond (bass) and Peter Littman (drums). The first six tracks of this CD remained unreleased until now and were recorded with one mic and not enough tape, but the magic is there. The last six tracks were air checks and have been circulating around Europe over the years. The material is standards but also includes Johnny Mandel's "Tommyhawk," a real rouser that appears in two takes. There are also two versions of the title song, which gives the advantage of comparison. And, since this is jazz, nothing is ever played the same way twice. Notable here is Littman's engine-like drumming on "Tommyhawk," Bond's arco on "Imagination" and Twardzik's fills and inventions on all of the tracks. And then there is Baker with his pure trumpet tone and ability to 'play' the lyric. There are three Baker vocals: a very short version of "My Funny Valentine" where the tape ran out, "Imagination" and a sensitive reading of "Someone To Watch Over Me." Eerily touching is hearing Baker's speaking voice as he introduces each song.

The Quintessence truly presents the essential Chet Baker; a two-disc selection of tracks from Baker's 1953-1956 recordings featuring an assortment of different players and group configurations. There is the quartet, quintet, sextet, ensemble (with strings), the orchestra and the big band (where it seems as if he raided the reed and horn section of the Stan Kenton band). There is also the "Moonlight In Vermont" track recorded with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and "Sonny Boy" with the Art Pepper Sextet. There is not enough space here to mention all of the personnel but notable is Zoot Sims' appearance on "A Little Duet" and the group on the last two tracks of the second disc: Russ Freeman (piano), Leroy Vinegar (bass) and Shelly Manne (drums), a tight cohesive unit. Freeman appears on many of the tracks and, since he worked a lot with Baker, has a special musical connection, including the same kind of sense of humor. These discs offer many Baker vocals including "My Funny Valentine," the song with which he is most associated.

Baker's talent lies in the simplicity and ease of his playing and singing. For those who were in the neighborhood over half a century ago when this music was being made, these CDs are a must for a wonderful wallow in nostalgia. For those who weren't, this is time travel at its best.


Tracks and Personnel

Indian Summer

Tracks: Indian Summer—Intro; Tommyhawk; Indian Summer; I'm Glad There Is You; But Not For Me; My Funny Valentine; Tommyhawk; Indian Summer; Someone To Watch Over Me; Imagination: C.T.A; Exitus..

Personnel: Chet Baker: trumpet, vocals; Dick Twardzik: piano; Jimmy Bond: bass; Peter Littman: drums.

The Quintessence

Tracks: Moonlight In Vermont; Maid In Mexico; Imagination; Band Aid; Happy Little Sunbeam; Ergo; Moonlight Becomes You; A Little Duet; But Not For Me (vocal), But Not For Me (instrumental); There Will Never Be Another You; Look For The Silver Lining; My Funny Valentine (vocal); I Fall In Love Too Easily; Line For Lyons; Lover Man; My Funny Valentine (instrumental); Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart; Little Man You've Had A Busy Day; Long Ago And Far Away; Sad Walk; Tenderly; Chet; Everything Happens To Me; Tasty Pudding; That Old Feeling; I've Never Been In Love Before; Sonny Boy; My Ideal; To Mickey's Memory; A Foggy Day; Darn That Dream; Tenderly; Love Nest; Hugo Hurwhey.

Personnel: Chet Baker: trumpet, vocals; various artists.


Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn" Multiple Reviews John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" Multiple Reviews The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago" Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!