Chet Baker – As Time Goes By (1990)

FrontCover1Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations in cool jazz 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 (1954), It Could Happen to You (1958)).

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.

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As Time Goes By, (subtitled Love Songs), is an album by trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker which was recorded in 1986 and released on the Dutch Timeless label.,(wikipedia)

ChetBaker03While Baker’s chops are clearly subpar there is a quaint romanticism to it all that somehow snares the listener. Performing with a first-rate trio (pianist Harold Danko, bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Ben Riley), the trumpeter runs through ten tunes, most of which Baker has recorded before. Nonetheless, the more than an hour of recording time gives everyone a chance to stretch. And, Baker’s vocals on “As Time Goes By” and “Round Midnight” are never tiring. Baker is a more than a bit muddled in his singing, sounding as though his mouth is filled with steel wool. Yet, the feelings he displays are so pure and touching that every note is imbued with deep emotion. Most of the songs are performed slowly, sometimes heart-wrenchingly so. While Baker seems tired, there is a cool, raw touch throughout, making this a decent example of the trumpeter’s later playing. His range seems even more limited than usual, too. Danko is a thorough joy, and plays splendidly in support. (by Steve Loewy)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals)
Jon Burr (bass)
Harold Danko (piano)
Ben Riley (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. You And The Night And The Music (Schwartz/Dietz) 5.27
02. As Time Goes By (Hupfeld) 6.48
03. My Melancholy Baby (Burnett/Norton) 6.58
04. I’m A Fool To Want You (Wolf/Herron/Sinatra) 8.40
05. When She Smiles (Danko) 6.02
06.Sea Breeze (Burr) 6.57
07. You Have Been Here All Along (Burr) 7.40
08. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis) 6.05
09. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (Porter) 4.31
10. ‘Round Midnight (Monk/Williams) 7.37

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More from Chet Baker:
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