Q (Magazine) - p.1333 stars out of 5
-- "A 1959 instrumental set of melodious standards, including gentle sketches of 'September Song' and 'How High The Moon'."
Personnel: Chet Baker (trumpet); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Herbie Mann (flute); Bill Evans (piano); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Paul Chambers (bass); Connie Kay, Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on December 30, 1958 and January 19, 1959. Originally released on Riverside (1135). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Personnel: Chet Baker (trumpet); Chet Baker ; Paul Chambers (bass instrument); Connie Kay, Philly Joe Jones (drums, drum); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Herbie Mann (flute); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Bill Evans (piano).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: Orrin Keepnews.
Recording information: Reeves Sound Studios, New York, NY (12/30/1958/01/19/1959).
Photographers: Steve Schapiro; Chuck Stewart.
Chet Baker's 1959 release CHET is a romantic yet melancholy collection of mostly ballads. Baker does not sing on this album, but his highly emotive and lyrical trumpet playing alone makes it more than compelling. Most importantly, this album marks one of the few recording sessions Baker did with the legendary pianist Bill Evans. Evans and Baker's approaches to jazz were unique and individualistic, yet these two jazz giants both infused a high degree of pathos into their musical vocabulary. As can be heard here, they also shared a great love for playing soft, delicate ballads.
On CHET, we hear Baker and Evans playing with great sympatico on "Alone Together" and "If You Could See Me Now." On both songs, Evans plays a subtle yet penetrating piano introduction, and Baker enters with his distinctly rich and breathy tone. Truly a great musical pair, Baker and Evans lead an all-star band through an album's worth of relaxed, reflective jazz. A merging of the West Coast and East Coast cool jazz styles, CHET is a record that emphasizes instrumental restraint and deep, musical tenderness.