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ALBUM REVIEWS

Chet Baker: Chet

Read "Chet" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the early 1950s, the rural Oklahoman Chet Baker established prominent connections in the jazz world; gigs with Charlie Parker and Stan Getz led to his first recordings. The trappings of both musicians' circles were dusted with heroin and Baker's career breaks coincided with his introduction to the disease that would stifle his musical development and kill him in thirty-something years. The Legendary Riverside Albums represents an output that some felt was Baker's best. It's an assessment that's debatable, as ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Good Vibes, Bad Vibes: Jazz in Film

Read "Good Vibes, Bad Vibes: Jazz in Film" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

Several films about jazz depict troubled and vice-ridden musicians, such as Charlie Parker, in Bird, and Chet Baker, in Born to be Blue. I walked out of the latter after twenty minutes of excessive obscenity, graphic vice, and general disgust. These films reinforce the idea that jazz is associated with illegal activities, illicit sex, and generally flawed character. The Miles Davies film, Miles Ahead, gives the same picture. I will not watch that movie, since I already know enough about ...

CHOICE CUTS

Chet Baker I'll Remember April, Zoot Sims Over the Rainbow, and Lorez Alexandria This Could Be the Start of Something Big

Read "Chet Baker I'll Remember April, Zoot Sims Over the Rainbow, and Lorez Alexandria This Could Be the Start of Something Big" reviewed by Mark Barnett

Choice Cuts is an offshoot of Getting Into Jazz. Your butcher notwithstanding, we're defining a “Choice Cut" as an outstanding track from an otherwise unremarkable CD (or vinyl record); a track so good it justifies adding the disc to your collection. Here are a trio to start with... Chet Baker, “I'll Remember April" (From the album Chet Baker in Paris, Verve Records 1956) Given the ups and downs of Baker's career, it's easy to forget ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Sex and The Single Trumpet Player

Read "Sex and The Single Trumpet Player" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Jack Sheldon (November 30, 1931) and Chet Baker (December 23, 1929-May 13, 1988)—two trumpeter/vocalists with a great deal in common. They spent their years of jazz apprenticeship, the early 1950's, on the West Coast, largely in jny: Los Angeles. They played in similar styles and their musical career paths early on were pretty similar, although Baker got started recording earlier than Sheldon, recording more prolifically and making early waves playing with Gerry Mulligan's group. They played sessions and recorded with ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift

Read "Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift" reviewed by Steve Provizer

We think of the 1950's as a time of relative social conformity, but in fact, there were significant cultural shifts happening. For one, male stereotypes were being unpacked and to some degree, unfrozen. Where once films and music gave us male characters that were either hyper-macho or limp-wristedly homosexual, male characters and performers who showed emotional vulnerability began to emerge from the underground. Two musicians who were exemplars of this change were Frank Sinatra and Chet Baker. The ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine Part 4-4: My Funny Valentine

Read "Last Song for Valentine Part 4-4: My Funny Valentine" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The first thing Cory heard when he stumbled into Café Picasso was the familiar voice of his drummer, Pearl, getting into an argument with two other musicians. They were all laughing loudly, but he could tell by the tone that it was also serious. Pearl caught his eyes and exclaimed: “Cory! Just the man I need. Come on over here! These rookies are trying to school me ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Chet Baker: Live In London Volume II

Read "Live In London Volume II" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Somewhat incredibly, these sessions from 1983 were recorded on a domestic audio cassette recorder. The John Horler Trio was employed to back Chet Baker on his six consecutive nights at The Canteen in London, a short-lived jazz venue in the heart of the City. Jim Richardson, bassist on these dates, gained Baker's permission to record these sessions and although the tapes were only intended for personal enjoyment, they have now been painstakingly restored for the benefit of everyone.


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