Various Artists – The Great Jazz Vocalists Sing The Gershwin Songbook (1992)

FrontCover1What a wonderful complication:

George Gershwin  born Jacob Gershwine; September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American pianist and composer, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs “Swanee” (1919) and “Fascinating Rhythm” (1924), the jazz standards “Embraceable You” (1928) and “I Got Rhythm” (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which included the hit “Summertime”.

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Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and with Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris, intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, but she refused him, afraid that rigorous classical study would ruin his jazz-influenced style; Maurice Ravel voiced similar objections when Gershwin inquired on studying with him. He subsequently composed An American in Paris, returned to New York City and wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, it came to be considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century and an American cultural classic.

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Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores. He died in 1937 of a brain tumor. His compositions have been adapted for use in film and television, with many becoming jazz standards.

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Ira Gershwin (born Israel Gershovitz; December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs in the English language of the 20th century. With George, he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as “I Got Rhythm”, “Embraceable You”, “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”. He was also responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George’s opera Porgy and Bess.

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The success the Gershwin brothers had with their collaborative works has often overshadowed the creative role that Ira played. His mastery of songwriting continued after George’s early death in 1937. Ira wrote additional hit songs with composers Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Harry Warren and Harold Arlen. His critically acclaimed 1959 book Lyrics on Several Occasions, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song. (wikipedia)

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And here´s this wonderful compilation:

In the pantheon of jazz singers, the great tunes of George and Ira Gershwin have always been favorites. Special vocalists can make these compositions their own, elevating each number by the way they phrase, emote, or interpret without reinterpreting. That innate ability to take a well-worn standard and invigorate it is well documented within these 16 tracks.

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Easily among the highlights are Nat King Cole’s “Embraceable You,” Carmen McRae’s “The Man I Love,” Dakota Staton’s “A Foggy Day,” Johnny Hartman’s “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” Nina Simone’s forever classic “Summertime,” the lesser-known “Love Walked In” by Abbey Lincoln, and Mel Tormé’s fun and funny “Do Do Do.” You also get two tracks from Sarah Vaughan, who had a singular command of Gershwin like nobody else. This is a solid collection of vocal magic from top to bottom, and can be recommended to all. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Tracklist:
01. Nat King Cole Trio: Embraceable You 3.53
02. Carmen McRae: The Man I Love 4.16
03. Chet Baker: But Not for Me 3.04
04. Sarah Vaughan: I Got Rhythm 1.54
05. Annie Ross: I Was Doing All Right 2.37
06. Nancy Wilson: Someone to Watch Over Me 2.33
07. Sarah Vaughan: Blah, Blah, Blah 2.41
08. June Christy: They Can’t Take That Away from Me 2.42
09. Beverly Kenney: It Ain’t Necessarily So 1.35
10. David Allyn: They All Laughed 2.22
11. Mel Tormé: Do Do Do 2.29
12. Peggy Lee: Aren’t You Kind of Glad We Did? 3.00
13. Dakota Staton: A Foggy Day 2.19
14. Johnny Hartman: How Long Has This Been Going On? 2.45
15. Abbey Lincoln: Love Walked In 2.33
16. Nina Simone: Summertime 5.40

All songs written by George Gershwin (muic) & Ira Gershwin (lyrics)
excep 15, wirtten by George Gershwin , Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward

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More from George & Ira Gershwin:
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The official website:
Website

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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Chet Baker Quartet – Jazz At Ann Arbor (1954)

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 (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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Early on May 13, 1988, Baker was found dead on the street below his room in Hotel Prins Hendrik, 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. (wikipedia)

Plaque at the Hotel Prins Hendrik, in Amsterdam:
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Jazz at Ann Arbor is a live album by jazz trumpeter Chet Baker which was recorded at the University of Michigan in 1954 and released on the Pacific Jazz label. (wikipedia)

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Chet Baker (trumpet) was arguably at the peak of his prowess when captured in a quartet setting at the Masonic Temple in Ann Arbor, MI, May 9, 1954. He’s joined by Russ Freeman (piano), Carson Smith (bass) and Bob Neel (drums), all of whom provide ample assistance without ever obscuring their leader’s laid-back and refined style. Baker’s sublime sounds also garnered notice from critics, who had placed him atop polls in both Metronome and Down Beat magazines the previous year. Evidence of these lauds are obvious upon listening to the combo as they nestle into one of the cornerstones in their repertoire, the suave “Line for Lyons” — a track dating back to the artist’s short-lived yet genre defining work with the song’s author, Gerry Mulligan.

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Almost immediately after establishing the melodic theme, Baker dives into his trademark solos. The fluidity throughout the seemingly off-the-cuff excursions presents confirmation of both his unquestionable timing and understated subtle authority. The rhythm section ably follows the improvisations with solid, yet never overpowering support. Freeman also shines throughout, especially during the stately opening to “Lover Man” or the up-tempo jiving “Maid in Mexico.” Other classics include the stark intimacy of Baker’s signature “My Funny Valentine,” as well as respectively frisky renditions of “Stella by Starlight” and Freeman’s own crowd-pleasing “Russ Job.”

The Ann Arbour Masonic Temple – Michigan:
The Ann Arbour Masonic Temple - Michigan

In 2000, these eight cuts were coupled with five additional previously unreleased sides from the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles circa August of 1953. The results were Quartet Live, Vol. 1: This Time the Dream’s on Me (2000), the first of three archival volumes featuring Baker during his initial reign as the poster child for West coast cool jazz. (by Lindsay Planer)

This album was released in red vinyl !

BackCoverPersonnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Bob Neel (drums)
Carson Smith (bass)

Booklet01+02Tracklist:
01. Annoucement 0.18
02. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 7.17.
03. Lover Man (Sherman/Ramirez/Davis) 6.06
04. My Funny Valentine (Hart/Rodgers) 5.27
05. Maid In Mexico (Freeman) 5.12
06. Stella By Starlight (Washington/Young) 4.33
07. My Old Flame (Johnson/Coslow) 6.04
08. Headline (Montrose) 5.06
09. Russ Job (Freeman) 6.19
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10. Zing ! Went The Strings Of My Heart (Hanley) 6.04
11. My Little Suede Shoes (Parker) 6.30
12. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 5.32
13. My Old Flame (Johnson/Coslow) 5.46
14. Everything Happens To Me (Carmichael/Mercer) 5.20

10. – 14.: Recorded live at the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles circa August of 1953

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More from Chet Baker:
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Chet Baker Trio – Estate (2008)

FrontCover1This 1983 studio date, titled Crystal Bells here yet previously released under other titles, features trumpet Chet Baker performing within a trio setting with the Belgian duo of guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. Although famously known as an intuitive musician who played by ear, by the ’80s Baker’s improvisation had coalesced into a beautifully logical, root harmony-based style in which one can discern the exact progressions of any given tune simply by listening to him. Here, his lines connect, turn by turn, melody upon melody like a pastel jigsaw puzzle forming before your eyes. Subsequently, Baker thrived in the company of the like-minded Belgians, whose bop-inflected technical prowess on their instruments was also matched by their deft sense for melodicism and sympathetic group interplay. As accompanists alone, they’re superb cohorts for the jazz legend, hanging their ears on each of his notes, outlining the harmonies behind him, and buoying his soft, lyrical phrases. There are also subtle stylistic juxtapositions within the trio with Catherine’s choice of electric, amplified guitar allowing for the occasional foray into country twang, or ambient, fusion-infused colorations. Similarly, though, Rassinfosse’s velvety double-bass lines reveal the influence of the impressionistic tone of Ron Carter, and he never fails to imply a clipped rhythmic pulse; a necessary skill in the drummerless setting Baker often favored in his later years. Ultimately, Crystal Bells is an absolutely magical session with inspired performances that still ring true so many years after Baker’s passing. (by Matt Collar)

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And here´s a review of this re-isssue edition:
Recorded in Belgium in 1983, Estate features Chet Baker backed by one of his best European trios with guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. A lithe guitarist with a sophisticated style well matched to Baker’s melodic lyricism, Catherine is as much a featured player here as sideman. Although Great American Songbook compositions were always Baker’s preference, here he primarily eschews the Broadway canon in favor of lesser-played jazz standards including Horace Silver’s “Strollin’,” Charlie Mariano’s “Crystal Bells,” and Richie Beirach’s softly played tango “Leaving.” Although the aforementioned tracks have been released under alternate album titles, the trio’s 1985 live recording of “My Funny Valentine” is included here as an added bonus. For longtime fans, Estate is essential latter-career Baker. (by Matt Collar)

Original front + backcover:
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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals on 07.)
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (bass)

Chet Baker Trio
Tracklist:
01. Crystal Bells (Mariano) 6.14
02. Strollin (Silver) 7.26
03. Lament (Johnson) 7.37
04. Leaving (Beirach) 9.43
05. Cherokee (Noble) 6.49
06. Estate (Martino)
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07. My Funny Valentine (live) (Rodgers/Hart) 10.19

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Chet Baker – Sextet & Quartet (1962)

FrontCover1.JPGChesney Henry Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist.

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 ’80s.

Baker was born and raised in a musical household in Yale, Oklahoma. His father, Chesney Baker Sr., was a professional guitarist, and his mother, Vera Moser, was a pianist who worked in a perfume factory. His maternal grandmother was Norwegian.[5] Baker said that due to the Great Depression, his father, though talented, had to quit as a musician and take a regular job.

Baker began his musical career singing in a church choir. His father gave him a trombone, which was replaced with a trumpet when the trombone proved too large. His mother said that he had begun to memorize tunes on the radio before he was given an instrument. After “falling in love” with the trumpet, he improved noticeably in two weeks. Peers called Baker a natural musician to whom playing came effortlessly.

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Baker received some musical education at Glendale Junior High School, but he left school at the age of 16 in 1946 to join the United States Army. He was assigned to Berlin, Germany, where he joined the 298th Army band. After leaving the Army in 1948, he studied music theory and harmony at El Camino College in Los Angeles.[7] He dropped out during his second year to re-enlist. He became a member of the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco, spending time in clubs such as Bop City and the Black Hawk. He was discharged from the Army in 1951 and proceeded to pursue a career in music.

Baker performed with Vido Musso and Stan Getz before being chosen by Charlie Parker for a series of West Coast engagements.

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In 1952, Baker joined the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. Rather than playing identical melody lines in unison like Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Baker and Mulligan complemented each other with counterpoint and anticipating what the other would play next. “My Funny Valentine”, with a solo by Baker, became a hit and would be associated with Baker for the rest of his career. With the Quartet, Baker was a regular performer at Los Angeles jazz clubs such as The Haig and the Tiffany Club.

Within a year, Mulligan was arrested and imprisoned on drug charges. Baker formed a quartet with a rotation that included pianist Russ Freeman, bassists Bob Whitlock, Carson Smith, Joe Mondragon, and Jimmy Bond, and drummers Larry Bunker, Bob Neel, and Shelly Manne. Baker’s quartet released popular albums between 1953 and 1956. Baker won reader’s polls at Metronome and Down Beat magazine, beating trumpeters Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. In 1954, readers named Baker the top jazz vocalist. In ChetBaker031956, Pacific Jazz Records released Chet Baker Sings, an album that increased his visibility and drew criticism. Nevertheless, Baker sang throughout the rest of his career.

Hollywood studios saw an opportunity in Baker’s chiseled features. He made his acting debut in the film Hell’s Horizon, released in the fall of 1955. He declined a studio contract, preferring life on the road as a musician. Over the next few years, Baker led his own combos, including a 1955 quintet with Francy Boland, where Baker combined playing trumpet and singing. In 1956 he completed an eight-month tour of Europe, where he recorded Chet Baker in Europe.  … (by wikipedia)

And here´s a French album with recordings from Italy in the year 1959:

During his extended “stay” in Europe circa the late ’50s and early ’60s, Chet Baker produced half a dozen albums for the Riverside Records subsidiary label Jazzland. On Chet Baker in Milan — the first of his overseas sides — Baker revisits the familiar stomping grounds of West Coast cool, even though he is the only American in the band. The basic quartet includes Chet Baker (trumpet), Renato Sellani (piano), Franco Serri (bass), and Gene Victory (drums). However, on a majority of the cuts, that unit is upgraded to a sextet with sax players Glauco Masetti (alto) and Gianno Basso (tenor). According to Peter Drew’s brief liner notes essay, these Italian players were found by a local record label and arrangements were essentially retrofitted to suit Baker.

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The labels from the “In Milan” edition

Although somewhat haphazardly congregated, this band aptly supports Baker’s cool and flowing solos, as well as providing swinging interpretations of familiar American bop anthems such as Miles Davis’ “Tune Up” and Charlie “Bird” Parker’s “Cheryl Blues.” Baker even revisits a few old haunts, such as “Look for the Silver Lining” and “Line for Lyons” (a side he originally cut with the song’s author, Gerry Mulligan). If the adage that claims music as the universal language was never proven before, it certainly becomes obvious here. The Italian musicians are intimately familiar with the decidedly American art form of jazz, so much so that the accompanying sax solos are often rendered with more fluidity than Baker’s own trumpet leads. The lack of recognizable names should not dissuade fans of West Coast cool jazz from seeking a copy of Chet Baker in Milan, as the album capturers all of what is vibrant about the genre. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Gianni Basso (saxophone)
Franco Cerri (bass)
Glauco Masetti (saxophone)
Renato Sellani (piano)
Gene Victory (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Pent Up House (Rollins) 5.01
02. Look For The Silvery Lining (DeSylvya/Kern) 4.35
03. Indian Summer (Herbert) 5.13
04. My Old Flame (Johnson/Coslow) 4.56
05. Cheryl Blues (Parker) 5.03
06. Tune Up (Davis) 5.19
07. Line For Lions (Mulligan) 7.46
08. Lady Bird (Dameron/Parker) 4.46

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Chet Baker & Art Pepper – Playboys (1956)

FrontCover1.jpgPlayboys is a 1956 jazz album featuring trumpeter Chet Baker and saxophonist Art Pepper. The album was the third collaboration between Pepper and Baker, following the successes of The Route and Chet Baker Big Band. All three albums were recorded in 1956.

Playboys was reissued in 1961 under the name Picture of Heath after the fifth track (itself a reference to Jimmy Heath, composer of all but two of the tracks). The tracks themselves were presented in a slightly different order, starting with the new title track. Hugh Hefner reportedly objected to the original album cover (clearly inspired by Playboy magazine with its near-identical wordmark and pinup photo) and threatened to sue. For Picture of Heath, the original cover was replaced with a photo of the artists in the recording studio. The 1990 Blue Note/Pacific Jazz CD reissue of Playboys used the ‘pin-up’ cover, but the same label’s 1998 CD reissue returned to the Picture of Heath cover.

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These 1956 Pacific Jazz sides appeared in 1961 under the title Playboys. Myth and rumor persist that, under legal advice from the publisher of a similarly named magazine, the collection would have to be retitled. It was renamed Picture of Heath, as more than half of the tracks are Jimmy Heath compositions. Regardless, the music is the absolute same. These are the third sessions to feature the dynamic duo of Art Pepper (alto sax) and Chet Baker (trumpet). Their other two meetings had produced unequivocal successes. The first was during a brief July 1956 session at the Forum Theater in L.A. Baker joined forces with Pepper’s sextet, ultimately netting material for the Route LP. Exactly three months to the day later, Pepper and Baker reconvened to record tracks for the Chet Baker Big Band album. The quartet supporting Baker and Pepper on Playboys includes Curtis Counce (bass), Phil Urso (tenor sax), Carl Perkins (piano), and Larance Marable (drums). Baker and Pepper have an instinctual rapport that yields outstanding interplay. The harmony constant throughout the practically inseparable lines that Baker weaves with Pepper drives the bop throughout the slinky “For Minors Only.” The soloists take subtle cues directly from each other, with considerable contributions from Perkins, Counce, and Marable. With the notorious track record both Baker and Pepper had regarding other decidedly less successful duets, it is unfortunate that more recordings do not exist that captured their special bond. These thoroughly enjoyable and often high-energy sides are perfect for bop connoisseurs as well as mainstream jazz listeners. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Curtis Counce (bass)
Larance Marable (drums)
Art Pepper (saxophone)
Carl Perkins (piano)
Phil Urso (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. For Minors Only (Heath) 4.04
02. Minor-Yours (Pepper) 6.46
03. Resonant Emotions (Heath) 5.44
04. Tynan Tyme (Pepper) 5.35
05. Picture Of Heath 6.47
06. For Miles And Miles (Heath) 6.28
07. C.T.A. (Heath) 5.11

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Chet Baker Sextet – Chet Is Back (1962)

frontcover1Chet Is back! is a 1962 studio album by jazz musician Chet Baker.
Chet Is Back! was recorded in Rome, Italy in 1962 at RCA’s Studios, showcasing bop-oriented tunes such as “Pent-Up House” and “Well, You Needn’t”. The Chet Baker Sextet consisted of a group of up-and-coming European jazz musicians, which included Belgian saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Belgian guitarist Rene Thomas, Italian pianist Amedeo Tommasi, French bassist Benoit Quersin, and Swiss drummer Daniel Humair.
The album features an original composition, “Ballata in forma di blues” (A Ballad in Blues Style), by Amedeo Tommasi. Ballads are featured, including “Over the Rainbow”, “Star Eyes”, and “These Foolish Things”. Compositions by other jazz musicians are also featured, such as Thelonious Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t”, Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House”, Charlie Parker’s “Barbados”, and Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet”.
On the 2003 CD reissue of Chet Is Back!, four orchestral pop bonus tracks Baker recorded with Ennio Morricone in Rome in 1962 are featured, “Chetty’s Lullaby”, “So che ti perderò”, “Motivo su raggio di luna”, and “Il mio domani”, which Baker co-wrote with lyricist Alessandro Maffei. Morricone arranged the songs and conducted the orchestra. Baker plays trumpet and sings lead vocals on these four tracks originally released as 45 singles by RCA Victor in 1962 in Italy. (by wikipedia)
Recorded in Italy in 1962, Chet Is Back! showcases the “cool” trumpeter cutting loose on such bop-oriented workouts as “Pent-Up House” and “Well, You Needn’t.” Backed skillfully by a young cadre of up-and-coming European musicians, including the stellar saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Chet Baker may have never sounded better, including on the ballads. One listen to “Over the Rainbow” and it’s clear this is an overlooked Baker classic.
(by Matt Collar)
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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Daniel Humair (drums)
Bobby Jaspar (saxophone, flute)
Benoit Quersin (bass)
René Thomas (guitar)
Amedeo Tommasi (piano)
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Tracklist
01. Well, You Needn’t (Monk) 6.23
02. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 4.56
03. Barbados (Parker) 8.26
04. Star Eyes (Raye/de Paul) 6.58
05. Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Koehler) 3.30
06. Pent-Up House (Rollins) 6.51
07. Ballata in forma di blues (Tommasi) 10.06
08. Blues In The Closet (Pettiford) 7.41
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The Mariachi Brass feat. Chet Baker – A Taste Of Tequila (1965)

FrontCover1A Taste of Tequila is an album by jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and the Mariachi Brass recorded in 1965 and released on the World Pacific label.

From a Chet Baker biography:
Effectively dropped by Richard Carpenter, and evicted from his New York apartment, Chet relocated to Los Angeles, where he teamed up with his old producer, Dick Bock. Bock had sold his faltering World Pacific label to Liberty Records in 1964, but stayed on as a salaried employee to head up the label. The Mariachi Brass was Bock’s attempt to emulate the success of Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, whose 1965 recording, ‘Whipped Cream and Other Delights’, went on to sell over six million copies. Their debut album, ‘A Taste of Tequila’, was derided by the jazz press, with Down Beat accusing Baker of “sounding as if he’s on the point of collapse”. It’s no jazz album, certainly, but as easy listening records go, it has its moments. The arrangements, by Jack Nitzsche no less, give the recording a less anemic feel than many of the Tijuana Brass albums, and it’s interesting to note that it received quite warm reviews when it was finally released on CD is 2006. (funnyvalentine.org)

Scott Yanow of Allmusic states, “During 1965-1966, he cut six remarkably commercial throwaways for the once viable World Pacific label. A Taste of Tequila was the first, featuring Baker’s unenthusiastic solos on ten poppish tunes while joined by the Mariachi Brass, a rather weak derivative of the Tijuana Brass”.

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
The Mariachi Brass
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Chet Baker (flugelhorn)

Arranged and conducted by Jack Nitzsche

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Tracklist:
01. Flowers On The Wall (DeWitt) 2.19
02. Tequila (Rio) 2-06
03. Mexico (Bryant) 2.14
04. Cuando Calienta el Sol (Perez) 2-44
05. Hot Toddy (Flanagan/Hendler) 2.12
08. Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa (Bacharach/David) 3-10
09. Speedy Gonzales (Kaye/Lee/Hess) 2.36
10. Come A Little Bit Closer (Boyce/Hart/Farrell) 2.52
11. El Paso (Robbins) 3.10
12. La Bamba (Traditional) 2.15

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Chet Baker – Chet Is Back (1962)

FrontCover1Chet Is back! is a 1962 studio album by jazz musician Chet Baker.

Chet is Back! was recorded in Rome, Italy in 1962 at RCA’s studios, showcasing bop-oriented tunes such as “Pent-Up House” and “Well, You Needn’t”. The Chet Baker Sextet consisted of a group of up-and-coming European jazz musicians, which included Belgian saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Belgian guitarist Rene Thomas, Italian pianist Amedeo Tommasi, French bassist Benoit Quersin, and Swiss drummer Daniel Humair. The album features an original composition, “Ballata in forma di blues” (A Ballad in Blues Style), by Amedeo Tommasi. Ballads are featured such as the standards “Over the Rainbow”, “Star Eyes”, and “These Foolish Things”. Also compositions by other jazz musicians are featured like Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t”, Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House”, Charlie Parker’s “Barbados”, and Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet”.

ChetBakerOn the 2003 CD reissue of Chet Is Back!, four orchestral pop bonus tracks Baker recorded with Ennio Morricone in Rome in 1962 are featured, “Chetty’s Lullaby”, “So che ti perderò”, “Motivo su raggio di luna”, and “Il mio domani”, which Baker co-wrote with lyricist Alessandro Maffei. Morricone arranged the songs and conducted the orchestra. Baker plays trumpet and sings lead vocals on these four tracks originally released as 45 singles by RCA Victor in 1962 in Italy. (by wikipedia)

Recorded in Italy in 1962, Chet Is Back! showcases the “cool” trumpeter cutting loose on such bop-oriented workouts as “Pent-Up House” and “Well, You Needn’t.” Backed skillfully by a young cadre of up-and-coming European musicians, including the stellar saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Chet Baker may have never sounded better, including on the ballads. One listen to “Over the Rainbow” and it’s clear this is an overlooked Baker classic. (by Matt Collar)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals)
Daniel Humair (drums)
Bobby Jaspar (saxophone, flute)
Benoit Quersin (bass)
René Thomas (guitar)
Amadeo Tommasi (piano)
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Ennio Morricone and his Orchestra (strings, horns, percussion on

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Well, You Needn’t (Monk) 6.23
02. These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 4.56
03. Barbados (Parker) 8.26
04. Star Eyes (Raye/de Paul) 6.58
05. Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Koehler) 3.30
06. Pent-Up House (Rollins) 6.51
07. Ballata in forma di blues (Tommasi) 10.06
08. Blues In The Closet (Pettiford) 7.41
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09. Chetty’s Lullaby (Baker/Maffei) 4.04
10. So che ti perderò (Baker/Maffei) 4.16
11. Motivo su raggio di luna (Baker/Maffei) 3.53
12. Il mio domani (Baker/Maffei) 5.21

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Various Artists – Silent Night, Jazzy Night (2001)

FrontCover1It´s christmas time again … and I will start with some special recordings, christmas records, of course !

And I have a dream for this christmas, a very old dream, the dream of Martin Luther King:

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

MartinLutherKingI have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!”

And this ist not an american dream only … I wish all readers of this blog a peaceful December 2013.

And listen carefully to some great Jazz interpretations of all these old christmas songs !

BookletBackCover1Tracklist:
01. Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Jingle Bells (alternate version) (1962) (Traditional) 3.19
02. Leon Parker: In A Sentimental Mood (1996) (Ellington) 4.39
03. Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) (1986) (Trome/Wells) 3.11
04. Johnnie Ray: As Time Goes By (1954) (Hupfeld) 3.14
05. Mahalia Jackson: Silent Night, Holy Night (1962) (Gruber/Mohr) 5.04
06. Miles Davis & Gil Evans: Blue Xmas (master) (Dorough) 2.40
07. Glenn Miller Orchestra: Moonlight Serenade (1960) (Miller/Parish) 3.39
08. Billie Holiday: God Bless The Child (1941) (Holiday/Herzog) 2.56
09. Grover Washington Jr:. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1997) (Martin/Blane) 4.53
10. Chet Baker: I Married An Angel (1954) (Hart/Rodgers) 3.39
11. The Manhattan Transfer: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town/ Santa Man (1991)(Gillespie/Coots/Paul) 3.01
12. Aretha Franklin: Winter Wonderland (1964) (Smith/Bernard) 2.12
13. Mel Tormé: Strangers In The Night (1966) (Kaempfert/Snyder/Singleton) 2.41

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