Chet Baker – She Was Too Good To Me (1974)

FrontCover1Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre leading him to be nicknamed the “prince of cool”.

Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen to You). Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker’s early career as “James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one”. His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Early on May 13, 1988, Baker was found dead on the street below his room in Hotel Prins Chet Baker02Hendrik, Amsterdam, with serious wounds to his head, apparently having fallen from the second-story window. Heroin and cocaine were found in his room and in his body. No evidence of a struggle was found, and the death was ruled an accident. According to another account, he inadvertently locked himself out of his room and fell while attempting to cross from the balcony of the vacant adjacent room to his own. A plaque was placed outside the hotel in his memory. Baker is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California, next to his father.

She Was Too Good to Me is an album by Chet Baker. The album was released in 1974 as what some would call a “comeback” album. The title track is an alteration of “He Was Too Good to Me”. There were three recording sessions (July 17, October 31, and November 1, 1974). (wikipedia)

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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. (by Scott Yanow)

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A bit back ground for this album : This LP is Chet’s first major recording since the night in San Fransisco in ’68 when five junkies relieved him of his dope money and his teeth and made him decide he’d have to give up heroin or die .
The cool , the lyricism , deeper fuller tone , the high personal brilliance sound ..all those elements in this sweet LP will satisfy your quality hidden moment .

All the top notch CTI musician contribute in this marvelous album. Smooky ! (by Rofano Lubis)AdIn my view this is one of the better, and probably best, of Chet’s sessions, as the exciting and complex drumming of both Steve Gadd (in my view his best straight ahead gig) and Jack DeJohnette provides excellent contrast and stimulus to Chet’s more stolid playing, the pairing with Desmond is of course optimal, and the sound of Fender Rhodes really nicely fits Chet’s playing, and Bob James shows his great musicianship that one sometimes can ignore because of his “smooth” jazzyness… (by Balthasar Thomass)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals)
Ron Carter (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums)
David Friedman (vibraphone)
Bob James (piano)
Hubert Laws (flute)
George Marge (flute, oboe d’amore)
Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet)
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Paul Desmond (saxophone on 01. + 04.)
Jack DeJohnette (drums on 05. – 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Autumn Leaves (Kosma/Prévert/Mercer) 7.06
02. “She Was Too Good to Me” Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:40
03. “Funk in Deep Freeze” Hank Mobley 6:06
04. “Tangerine” Victor Schertzinger, Johnny Mercer 5:27
05. “With a Song in My Heart” Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:04
06. “What’ll I Do?” Irving Berlin 3:55
07. “It’s You or No One” Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn 4:28
08. “My Future Just Passed” Richard A. Whiting, George Marion, Jr. 4:46

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The High Numbers (The Who) – Live + Studio (1964)

FrontCover1For just a few months in 1964 (approximately July to October), the Who changed their name to the High Numbers, releasing one single under that billing before reverting to the more inventive and appropriate “the Who.” The name change resulted from their association with Pete Meaden, a mod who briefly managed them in mid-1964 (Helmut Gorden was also involved in their management with Meaden for much of that time). Meaden was instrumental in getting the band to gear their music and image more toward the mod movement, and this was reflected in his choice of the name “the High Numbers,” which arose from mod slang.

The High Numbers did a single for Fontana in July, “I’m the Face”/”Zoot Suit.” Both sides of the 45 were written by Meaden, the A-side loosely adapted from Slim Harpo’s “Got Love If You Want It,” a popular cover choice among British bands of the time (including the Kinks and the Yardbirds). The flipside is often said to be similarly based on “Country Fool,” an obscure New Orleans R&B number by the Showmen, although the resemblance to a previous song is not as blatant as it is with “I’m the Face.” The lyrics, too, were rather blunt pastiches of mod jargon and sloganeering.

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Relatively little of the Who’s personality came through on the disc. Pete Townshend’s guitar in particular bore little resemblance to his power chords and searing feedback on the Who’s 1965 singles; the leads on the single were so jazzy and thin that one wonders if they were, in fact, the work of a session musician. In fact, “Zoot Suit” rather overshadows the routine R&B of the A-side, with its unusual minor-key tune and rushed tempo. In any case, the single went virtually unnoticed upon initial release. The group did record two R&B-soul covers at the same session, Bo Diddley’s “Here ‘Tis” and Eddie Holland’s “Leaving Here,” that showed them to better advantage, if still a long way off from their great 1965 power pop recordings. Both of those songs eventually found official release on archival Who compilations.

The High Numbers wisely changed their name back to the Who by November 1964, by which time they had also changed management, replacing Meaden with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Whether this was intentional or not, it also erased any stigma that might have been attached to them as the result of the High Numbers’ flop 45, and allowed them to present their first 1965 single, “I Can’t Explain,” as the debut of a brand-new band, the Who. Very rare for a decade, “I’m the Face” and ‘Zoot Suit” appeared on Who compilation albums in the ’70s, and later on CD. (by Richie Unterberger)

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And here´a very intersting bootleg:

For those of us that consider a band’s music and history all part and parcel there are wonderful archival compilations such as this, The High Numbers Live 1964. This bootleg document includes what may be the best sounding and most complete version of the High Numbers (as the Who were know as for a short period in ’64) performance at the Railway Hotel and Lounge, Wealdstone on October 20, 1964. Also present are seven demos the band cut at EMI Studios, 3 Abbey Road, in St. John’s Wood, London UK on October 22, 1964.

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The recordings are of interest to enthusiasts but really the Who had yet to get their shit together at this point. It’s amazing when you consider they were within a month of recording ‘I Can’t Explain’. That really goes to show how important having a skilled producer take command really is.

Things moved so fast in the sixties. The music business was really healthy at that time. I’m sure all of us could name tons of bands that have worked unbelievably hard for the past couple decades in order to establish a medium sized cult following. (mofoking )

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Personnel:
Roger Daltrey (vocals, harmonica)
John Entwistle (bass)
Keith Moon (drums)
Pete Townshend (guitar, background vocals)

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Tracklist:

Railway Hotel And Lounge, Wealdstone, 11 August 1964:
01. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 3.41
02. You Really Got Me (Instrumental) (Davies) 1.36
03. Young Man Blues (Allison) 1.36
04. Green Onions (Cropper/Jackson/Jones/Steinberg) 2.55
05. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 1.11
06. Instrumental Jam (You Really Got Me) (Davies) 1.57
07. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 1.13
08. Long Tall Shorty (Abramson/Covay) 5.00
09. Pretty Thing (McDaniel) 3.58
10. Smokestack Lightning / Money (That’s What I Want) (Burnett/Bradford/Gordy) 10.34
11. Here ‘Tis (McDaniel) 2.15

Abbey Road Studios, London (Probably), October 1964 (instrumental versions only):
12. Smokestack Lightning (Burnett) 2.17
13. Walking The Dog  (Thomas) 2.46
14. Unknown Instrumental 1.46
15. I’m A Man  (McDaniel) 4.52
16. Instrumental Jam / Country Line Special (Davies) 6.21
17. Memphis, Tennessee (Berry) 2.14
18. Unknown Instrumental 3.37
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19. Zoot Suit (Single A-side) (Meaden) 2.04
20. I’m The Face (Single B-side) (Meaden) 2.37

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