Burnin' At Backstreet was recorded at the Backstreet Club in New haven Connecticut on February 19, 1980. Baker and Frank appear in a quartet format with bassist Michael Formanek and pianist Drew Salperto. The repertoire is wholly Baker. Baker loved the Miles Davis songbook and his performances of Davis originals were always more rounded and open than Davis.' "Tune Up," the modal "Milestones" and craggy "Four" share the stage with another Baker favorite, Dizzy Gillespie's "Blue 'n Boogie." Baker is in good solo form on these up tempo numbers. His tone is fat and confident, even when presented tartly, like the opening of "Milestones"…
At this 1974 concert baritonist Gerry Mulligan and trumpeter Chet Baker had one of their very rare reunions; it would be only the second and final time that they recorded together after Mulligan's original quartet broke up in 1953. Oddly enough, a fairly contemporary rhythm section was used (keyboardist Bob James, vibraphonist Dave Samuels, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Harvey Mason, and in one of his first recordings, guitarist John Scofield). However, some of the old magic was still there between the horns, and in addition to two of Mulligan's newer tunes, this set (the first of two volumes) also includes fresh versions of "Line for Lyons" and "My Funny Valentine."
Jerry Miller opens up his 2013 album with "Travis Express," a signal that the guitarist owes a significant debt to the great Merle Travis. Then again, most purely instrumental country guitarists do owe Travis a great deal, and Miller doesn't shy away from his love of classic '50s and '60s pickers, using New Road Under My Wheels as a celebration of that whole era, leaning heavily on honky tonk and Western swing to deliver a jumping good time. Perhaps Miller is superficially similar to Junior Brown, another virtuoso country guitarist who also adores roadhouse country, but Brown is a nitro-charged engine throttling down the highway.
Like a number of live Chet Baker albums released over the last ten years, this one documents a concert that took place shortly before his tragic death (having recently resumed his drug habit, he fell from a hotel room window in 1988). Unlike most of them, though, this one shows him to have still been in complete control of his musical faculties, playing not just beautifully and well, but with energy and even speed despite his deteriorating health. His singing, too, sounds uncannily like that of the quiet young sex symbol he'd been in the 1950s, before age and heroin ravaged his face and emptied his eyes.