Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

INTERVIEW

Bruce Guthrie: Remembering Chet Baker

Read "Bruce Guthrie: Remembering Chet Baker" reviewed by Nenette Evans

I first met the Baker family at Chet's funeral back in 1988. I took my kids out of school and went with my partner, Fonje, to the Los Angeles Cemetery. I had heard about the funeral from our local jazz station and with a big sense of duty to Chet Baker's memory, headed north on the 405 freeway. I remember thinking, this is huge, everyone will be there, everyone in jazz. Having known virtually nothing about the family or all ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker

Read "Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

"There's a little white cat out here who's going to eat you up." —Charlie Parker (to Miles Davis) Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Two trumpet players born three years apart. Both unusually handsome and slight of build. Both lacking, as trumpeters, the qualities most often associated with those brass alphas of the jazz world--power, speed, stratospheric range. Both associated, in their early years, with Charlie Parker. Both boasting incredibly prolific recording careers, with dozens of leader dates ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...


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