Monday, 24 September 2012

1954 Chet Baker - Chet Baker Sings

Info: Chet Baker (1929-1988) is described in 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die as the Monet of the music world as "a master of mists and gentle inflections". Dropping out of high-school at 16, he joined the army and was sent to Berlin in 1946 for 2 years where he played in the 298th Army Band, following another stint in the army in the early fifties Baker started playing trumpet with various bands and performers before going solo in July, 1953. The following year the above album, Chet Baker Sings, was released, having traditionally been solely a trumpet player, many of Baker's fans who were jazz purists were alienated by him singing on the album as well, indeed as observed in the liner notes of the album, "Is Baker a trumpet player who sings, or a singer who plays trumpet?". Key tracks are; 'My Funny Valentine', 'My Ideal', 'But Not For Me' and 'Time After Time', above. Baker became addicted to heroin in the 1950's, and it started to really impact on his career by the 1960's, he was imprisoned many times in different countries, particularly West Germany and France where he spent much of his time, he also began accepting any recording offer that was put before him, merely to feed his addiction, which sadly diluted the quality of his output. Baker died in Amsterdam in 1988 when he fell from a window at the Hotel Prins Hendrik following a cocaine and heroin binge, a plaque in his honour (below) can be seen at the entrance to the hotel.

Track Listing:

1 That Old Feeling
2 It's Always You
3 Like Someone In Love
4 My Ideal
5 I've Never Been In Love Before
6 My Buddy
7 But Not For Me
8 Time After Time
9 I Get Along Without You Very Well
10 My Funny Valentine
11 There Will Never Be Another You
12 The Thrill Is Gone      
13 I Fall In Love Too Easy
14 Look For The Silver Lining

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