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Articles | Popular | Future

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.

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Chet Baker Sings

Read "Chet Baker Sings" reviewed by Mark Barnett

Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD capsule Trumpeter Chet Baker's singing still provokes debate. Some love it, others wish he'd saved his singing for the shower. Here's a chance to make up your own mind by sampling some of the best singing of Baker's early career, when the voice was fresh, the ideas new. Background

ALBUM REVIEWS

Chet Baker: Boston, 1954

Read "Boston, 1954" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Is there any reason to write anything more about Chet Baker? Stuff of legend, subject of multiple books, focus of a classic documentary: Surely, someone, somewhere hadn't written a doctoral dissertation on him in American studies. Great player, not so great person, or, whatever kind of person, not so great player. You sort of get to choose which Baker you want. Whether it's an idiotic greeting to pianist Romano Mussolini (did he really say: “Sorry about your old man")?; or ...

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Chet Baker Quartet Featuring Russ Freeman

Read "Chet Baker Quartet Featuring Russ Freeman" reviewed by Mark Barnett

Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Iconic West Coast jazz by the legendary trumpeter at the cusp of his career. Baker made a slew of recordings in his lifetime, but this is among the crème de la crème. Background Trumpeter Chet Baker rose to prominence in the mid-1950's and continued to ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Creed Taylor Productions, Part 1

Read "Creed Taylor Productions, Part 1" reviewed by Creed Taylor

Part 1 | Part 2 The place in jazz history held by Creed Taylor is impeccable, stylish, and essential. He produced some of the best music for some of the best labels dedicated to jazz, then formed his own label and with meticulous preparation and his musician's ear kept on making great jazz records. Taylor began as a producer for Bethlehem Records, where his work with Charles Mingus stands among the label's best. In 1960, ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Chet Baker: The Missing Years by Artt Frank

Read "Chet Baker: The Missing Years by Artt Frank" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Chet Baker: The Missing Years Artt Frank 234 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-9887687-4-1 BooksEndependent 2014 Baker attracts positive and negative criticism like a celebrity black hole--the artist as hero and antihero. When considering Baker, you consider no one else. From “On The Banks of the Jabbok with Chet Baker," All About Jazz, 2012. Since his death in 1988, trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker has been the subject of three biographies that ...

REASSESSING

Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe

Read "Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Chet BakerChet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & LoeweOJC1959/2013 The newest round of re-releases/remasters from the Concord Music Group celebrate the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records. Singer and trumpeter Chet Baker's Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe joins Mulligan Meets Monk (OJC/Riverside, 1957/2013) in the label's birthday celebration. Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe can easily be considered a sequel and one half of a creative ...

OPINION

On the Banks of the Jabbok With Chet Baker

Read "On the Banks of the Jabbok With Chet Baker" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

When Yale professor Harold Bloom was interviewed by NPR shortly after publication of Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine (Riverhead, 2005), he was quite candid about his relationship with his own Judaism and Yahweh: Bloom: ... I may, as I say, lack trust in the covenant, but though I keep asking Yahweh to go away, I say so many times in this book, he won't go away. He haunts me. NPR: You really want Yahweh to ...