Personnel: Chet Baker (vocals, trumpet); Russ Freeman (piano); Bob Whitlock, Carson Smith, Joe Mondragon (bass); Bobby White, Larry Bunker, Shelly Manne (drums).
Producer: Richard Bock.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded in Los Angeles, California in July and October 1953. Includes liner notes by Doug Ramsey.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Ron McMaster.
This is part of Pacific Jazz Records' West Coast Classics series.
Personnel: Chet Baker (trumpet); Russ Freeman (piano); Shelly Manne (drums).
Liner Note Author: Pete Welding.
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (07/24/1953-10/??/1953).
Director: Russ Freeman .
Illustrator: John Altoon.
Photographer: William Claxton.
These early sides for the Pacific Jazz label feature a young Chet Baker just at the beginning of his musical prime. Baker is joined by many of his regular West Coast buddies, and on the whole, the sessions encapsulate the essence of the West Coast "cool" style that was coming into its own in the early '50s.
Since this was still the age of the 10-inch disc, Baker and Freeman produce many fine, concise solo efforts, keeping the arrangements short but full of life. Baker plays trumpet throughout, but puts in a gorgeous vocal performance on his soon-to-be signature ballad "I Fall in Love Too Easily," greatly shortened here and taken at a slightly quicker pace than usual. Freeman proves to be Baker's ultimate musical compatriot, keeping pace with the young trumpeter every step of the way. Standout cuts include the dreamy "Isn't it Romantic," the wonderfully frantic swinger "Bea's Flat," and two cuts of the delightfully arranged "Winter Wonderland."