Chesney 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 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.
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)
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)
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)In 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)
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)
Paul Desmond (saxophone on 01. + 04.)
Jack DeJohnette (drums on 05. – 07.)
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