For much of the last two decades of his life, Chet Baker seemed to go in the studios so often that one never knew what to expect. The results were a crapshoot, depending on whether or not Baker was suffering the effects of his drug addiction at the time. Fortunately, his friendship with Chicago-based pianist Bradley Young in the early 1980s gave the younger man an opportunity to sit in with the trumpeter. As a result, Young impulsively suggested a record date during a return engagement in 1986, which Baker accepted, though everything had to come together quickly within two days, including finding a studio and assembling a band. Oddly enough, everything works, from the fine rhythm section…
Baker began his comeback after five years of musical inactivity with this excellent CTI date. Highlights include "Autumn Leaves," "Tangerine," and "With a Song in My Heart." Altoist Paul Desmond is a major asset on two songs and the occasional strings give variety to this fine session.
A pleasant set, distinguished for decent versions of Harold Danko's "Swift Shifting," Jon Burr's "Caravelle," and the Rodgers and Hart tune "Blue Moon," the trumpeter plays with a competent quartet that spurs him on. Although clearly weary, Baker's trumpet has some fire left, while his vocal articulation is below par. Still, the "feel" is always there, and even Baker on a less-than-perfect day is filled with joys. He solos on trumpet at length, at least as minimalist in style as ever. At this stage in his career, he remained capable of spine-tingling versions of "Round Midnight," with the trumpeter's laid-back breathy approach laying down perfectly placed notes…
This highly enjoyable 1993 CD issue compiles the original six-song Chet Baker Sextet 10" EP as well as the Chet Baker Big Band 12" album. Although these two sessions were held more than two years apart, this was due primarily to an extended European tour during the intervening months and Baker's obvious unavailability stateside. Releasing an entire album under the moniker Chet Baker Big Band is a bit of a misnomer, as only the first four sides actually incorporate an 11-person configuration. The remaining tracks from the long-player feature a slightly smaller nonet configuration. Among the luminaries joining Baker (trumpet) and participating in the big-band arrangements are Art Pepper (alto sax), Bud Shank (alto sax), Phil Urso (tenor sax), and Bobby Timmons (piano).
Artists House, a classy if short-lived label, released this attractive Chet Baker LP, a quintet date with tenor saxophonist Gregory Herbert, pianist Harold Danko, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Mel Lewis. The challenging material ("The Song Is You" is the only one of the five songs that is a standard) inspires the musicians to play creative solos. It is particularly interesting to hear Baker interpret the Wayne Shorter tune "ESP."
Pianist Duke Jordan's presence adds some punch and spark to this quartet session, which is further helped along by bassist Niels Henning-Orsted Pedersen and selections that are suited for Baker's increasingly mellow and wavering playing. … outstanding among [Chet’s] later recordings….This is a record to give a listener fresh heart…one feels there cannot be much wrong with jazz while it is producing records like this .
Very rare Marshmallow original album by Chet Baker. Recorded at "New Morning Club", Paris, France, November 24, 1983. American jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker became a star on the strength of such songs as "My Funny Valentine" before his career was derailed by drug use. Jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker was born in Yale, Oklahoma, in 1929. He rose to stardom in the 1950s with Gerry Mulligan's quartet and then as a bandleader, but encountered personal and professional difficulties after developing a heroin addiction. In 1988 Baker was in the midst of a late-career resurgence when he fell from an Amsterdam hotel window to his death.
During a three-day period in 1965, trumpeter Chet Baker (who during the era was exclusively playing flugelhorn) recorded five albums for Prestige that were soon forgotten, despite their quality. In 1997, the entire program was reissued on three CDs (which also include Lonely Star and On a Misty Night), showing that Baker was in excellent form at the time. Chet is teamed with tenor saxophonist George Coleman, pianist Kirk Lightsey (in top form), bassist Herman Wright and drummer Roy Brooks; the one-time gathering group on the whole sometimes recalls the Miles Davis Quintet of 1956.
Chet Baker was quite busy during three days in August 1965, recording five LPs worth of material with tenor saxophonist George Coleman (formerly with Miles Davis), pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Herman Wright and drummer Roy Brooks. Baker, sticking to flugelhorn, is heard in fine form on this CD reissue, which (along with Stairway to the Stars and Lonely Star) brings back all of the music in full; each CD also contains all of the liner notes from the five original albums. For this particular reissue, the quintet performs six likable originals by Richard Carpenter, Jimmy Mundy's "Sleeping Susan," three Tadd Dameron tunes, and a Sonny Stitt blues.