Chet Baker

Genres: Documentaries Drama Movies Jazz Jazz Music & Radio Books Soundtrack Vocals
Tags: jazz trumpet cool jazz vocal jazz blues Powered by AudioScrobbler
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, Baker’s 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 Mulligan’s pianoless quartet, with their dynamic reading of ‘My Funny Valentine’ becoming a notable hit. The song remained Baker’s 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 Mulligan’s enforced imprisonment for a drugs offence, Baker continued to build a reputation as musician, vocalist, womaniser and junkie. After...

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