359

Chet Baker: Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Chet Baker: Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe There’s some nice blowing on this CD reissue of an album recorded in 1959 by trumpeter Chet Baker and a star-studded supporting cast, but it’s far too sporadic, flutist Herbie Mann’s arrangements are generally uninspiring, and the session is on the whole rather lackluster. In searching for reasons, one that quickly arises is that Baker's celebrated sidekicks—Mann, Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams, a youthful Bill Evans—are largely window-dressing. As an example, “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” is played by a quintet—Baker, Sims and the rhythm section—and Zoot doesn’t solo! In fact, he takes only three including one on alto (“Show Me,” which is listed on the tray as another quintet track with Baker and Adams on the front line but actually includes everyone).

Three seems to be the magic number, as that’s also how many solos are doled out to Mann, Adams and Evans, respectively, while pianist Bob Corwin, who divides time with Evans, has two. Baker solos on every number, of course, and glides through the familiar material without breaking a sweat (or taking any chances). Everyone, in fact, swims quite close to shore, and even Sims is relatively docile, warming to his task only on the lively “Show Me.” But as we said, Mann’s charts have something to do with that. They’re pretty limp and colorless, and in at least three instances (“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “The Heather on the Hill,” “I Talk to the Trees”) far too sluggish, decelerated perhaps to serve Baker’s lyrical, romantic style (underlined here by a subtle echo-chamber effect).

The best of Lerner and Loewe? Well, one would need more than forty-three minutes to condense their best work into a single album. The best of Chet Baker? Not as long as the quartet dates with Gerry Mulligan are accessible. The best of Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams or Bill Evans? I think you already know the answer to that one.


Track Listing: I

Personnel: Chet Baker, trumpet; Herbie Mann, flute, tenor saxophone (

Title: Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Departure CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read With You In Mind CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Plays New Zealand" CD/LP/Track Review Plays New Zealand
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Nigerian Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!