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|Tags:||jazz trumpet cool jazz vocal jazz blues|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
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Chesney Henry Baker, 23 December 1929, Yale, Oklahoma, USA, d. 13 May 1988, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. One of the more lyrical of the early post-war trumpeters, Bakers fragile sound epitomized the so-called cool school of white west coast musicians who dominated the American jazz scene of the 50s.
Baker studied music while in the army, and soon after his discharge in 1951 he was playing with Charlie Parker. He gained international prominence as a member of Gerry Mulligans pianoless quartet, with their dynamic reading of My Funny Valentine becoming a notable hit. The song remained Bakers all-time favourite and his frail blue note vocal is one of the most distinctive recordings in the history of jazz. When the quartet disbanded in 1953 due to Mulligans enforced imprisonment for a drugs offence, Baker continued to build a reputation as musician, vocalist, womaniser and junkie. After...