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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Riverside

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
The ultra-hip and sophisticated "cool jazz" that Chet Baker (trumpet/vocals) helped define in the early '50s matured rapidly under the tutelage of producer Dick Bock. This can be traced to Baker's earliest sides on Bock's L.A.-based Pacific Jazz label. This album is the result of Baker's first sessions for the independent Riverside label. The Chet Baker Quartet featured on Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen to You includes Kenny Drew (piano), Sam Jones (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). (Performances by bassist George Morrow and drummer Dannie Richmond are featured on a few cuts.) This results in the successful combination of Baker's fluid and nonchalant West Coast delivery with the tight swinging accuracy of drummer Jones and pianist Drew. Nowhere is this balance better displayed than the opening and closing sides on the original album, "Do It the Hard Way" and "Old Devil Moon," respectively. One immediate distinction between these vocal sides and those recorded earlier in the decade for Pacific Jazz is the lissome quality of Baker's playing and, most notably, his increased capacity as a vocalist. The brilliant song selection certainly doesn't hurt either. This is an essential title in Chet Baker's 30-plus year canon. [Some reissues contain two bonus tracks, "I'm Old Fashioned" and "While My Lady Sleeps"]. ~ Lindsay Planer
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Concord Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Pacific Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
To much of the pop (as opposed to the jazz) audience, Chet Baker was known not as an able cool jazz trumpeter, but as a romantic balladeer. The two classifications were not mutually exclusive; Baker's vocal numbers would also feature his trumpet playing, as well as fine instrumental support from West Coast cool jazzers. For those who prefer the vocal side of the Baker canon, this is an excellent compilation of his best vintage material in that mode. The 20 tracks draw from sessions covering the era when he was generally conceded to be at his vocal peak (1953-1956), and are dominated by standards from the likes of Rodgers & Hart, Carmichael, Gershwin, and Kern. Baker's singing was white and naïve in the best senses, with a quavering, uncertain earnestness that embodied a certain (safe) strain of mid-'50s bohemianism. That's the Baker heard on this collection, which contains some his most famous interpretations, including "My Funny Valentine," "Time After Time," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "Let's Get Lost." ~ Richie Unterberger
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Chet Baker's West Coast cool comes to the Big Apple on Chet Baker in New York. The project would be Baker's first -- in a four album deal -- with the Big Apple-based Riverside Records. The bicoastal artist incorporates his decidedly undernourished sound and laid-back phrasing into the styling of Al Haig (piano), Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The results are uniformly brilliant as Baker's cool-toned solos fly and bop with authority around the equally impressive supporting soloists. Conversely, the same cohesive unity continues on the introspective numbers that are more akin to Baker's California cool. Undoubtedly one of the charms of this collection is the distinct choice of material. Running the gamut from the relaxed and soothing "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and equally serene "Blue Thoughts" at one end of the spectrum to the percolating and driving intensity of "Hotel 49" on the other. This track features each quintet member taking extended solos corralling together at the head and again at the coda for some intense bop interaction. Especially ferocious is Philly Joe Jones, who could easily be mistaken for Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, or even Gene Krupa with his cacophonous solo that never strays from the beat or loses its sense of swing. Perhaps the best meshing of styles can be heard on the Miles Davis composition "Solar." This "best-of" candidate refers to both Chambers' and Jones' concurrent involvement with Davis. The churning backbeat likewise propels the melody and ultimately the performers into reaching beyond their individual expertise and into an area of mutual brilliance. Chet Baker in New York is a highly recommended entry into Baker's catalog. It should also be noted that these same sides were issued in 1967 as Polka Dots and Moonbeams on the Jazzland label. ~ Lindsay Planer
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released October 5, 2010 | Masterworks Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Pacific Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released April 15, 2003 | RCA Bluebird

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released September 1, 2012 | Igloo Jazz Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Verve/A&M's reissue of Chet Baker's 1977 album You Can't Go Home Again features the trumpeter/vocalist supported by an all-star band that includes guitarist John Scofield, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond in his final recording session. Former Miles Davis sidemen Tony Williams and Ron Carter also add an organic touch to the proceedings and a warm contrast to the electric pianos and Moogs that flow through Don Sebesky's arrangements. Alternate takes of the title track and others including "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You/You've Changed," "The Best Thing for You," and "If You Could See Me Now" make this double-disc set a more complete look at one of Baker's most important latter-day albums. ~ Heather Phares
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | A&M

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This CD features previously unissued material from the same sessions that resulted in You Can't Go Home Again and, if anything, the music is a touch better. While an alternate take of Don Sebesky's "El Morro" uses a larger group, the other five performances find Baker accompanied just by a rhythm section (pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Tony Williams and, on one song, guitarist Gene Bertoncini). As a special bonus, altoist Paul Desmond makes memorable appearances on three songs during what would be his final recording session. Throughout, Chet Baker shows that his playing during his much documented final period would be equal if not superior to his more acclaimed recordings of the 1950s. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released April 16, 2002 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released April 9, 1992 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
This release offers a unique glimpse of a young Chet Baker in a quintet setting, complemented by a nine-piece string section. Utilizing the uniquely modern arrangements of Johnny Mandel, Marty Paich, Jack Montrose, and Shorty Rogers, this interaction of "West Coast cool" with primordial elevator music escapes many -- if not indeed all -- of the potential sonic pitfalls such a marriage might suggest. In the truest sense of the word augmentation, the string arrangements provide the desired opulence sans the heavy-handed or syrupy residual effects. Perhaps most inspiring about this outing is the success with which Baker and crew are able to thrive in this environment, providing subtle insight into the quintet's ability to simultaneously adapt and explore. Chet Baker and Strings was recorded over three days in late 1953 and early 1954. Joining Baker (trumpet) on these sessions are Jack "Zoot" Sims (tenor sax), Jack Montrose (tenor sax), Russ Freeman (piano), Joe Mondragon (bass), Shelly Manne (drums), and Clifford "Bud" Shank (alto sax), who steps in for Sims on the 1954 date. "Love Walked In" incorporates a trademark volley of interaction between Baker and Sims. "Love" contains what is arguably the most successful implementation of the string section, as well as some stellar soloing by Freeman. In fact, his contributions to this particular recording rank among his finest with Baker and company. The same enthusiasm can likewise be applied to "A Little Duet for Zoot and Chet." Not only are Sims and Baker in top flight, but the string arrangement swings irresistibly as well. The easygoing and otherwise winding strings support the cool bop like a kite in a March breeze -- light, airy, and conspicuous only in altitude. ~ Lindsay Planer