June 14, 2018
Chet Baker Sings was Chet Baker’s first attempt to sing in an album
Chet Baker, the legendary trumpeter and genius, was born on December 23, 1929, in Yale, Oklahoma, and both his parents were musicians. He was as highly esteemed as huge stars like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie in the jazz world.
Countless female fans were overwhelmed by his melancholic temperament and his image as an uncontrollable bad boy, an image that can only be compared with that of the roles played by James Dean in movies. He also participated in the making of the soundtrack of the movie “The James Dean Story”.
At the age of 23, he had an opportunity to play with the great jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker, and left us with some of the only known recordings of Baker performing with Parker. Later, he joined Gerry Mulligan Quartet which was Mulligan’s first pianoless quartet, and witnessed the birth of Cool Jazz, leading to an incomparable success at that time. Nevertheless, his indulgence in fame and wealth, and his self-destructive behaviour have made his life extraordinarily miserable.
After becoming famous, his addiction to heroin caused serious damage to his career. He was arrested several times for drug-related offences and fighting. In 1966, while attempting to buy drugs, he was brutally beaten and the facial injuries caused by the assault made it difficult for him to play trumpet for a while. From 1978 until his death in 1988, Baker lived and played almost exclusively in Europe, though his work during this period was well received by critics but, commercially, it was never a success. At the age of 58, he was found dead on the street below his hotel room in Amsterdam, and was classified as a suicide case from the official police report.
Chet Baker Sings was Chet Baker’s first attempt to sing in an album, and it not only got fully support from his partner, the guitarist Russ Freeman, but his hit song “My Funny Valentine” has also become a classic among the classics.
Label: Pacific Jazz Records PJ-1222
Producer: Richard Bock
1. But Not For Me, Time After Time
2. My Funny Valentine
3. I Fall In Love
4. Too Easily
5. There Will Never Be Another You
6. I Get Along Without You Very Well
7. The Thrill Is Gone
8. Look For The Silver Lining.
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Chet Baker Sings Pacific Jazz Records 1954 Jazzespresso Jazz Magazine copyright 2018
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