Personnel includes: Chet Baker (vocals, trumpet); Herb Geller (alto saxophone, flute, reeds); Walter Norris (piano); John Schroder (guitar); Lucas Lindholm (bass): Aage Tanggaard (drums); Radio Orchestra Hannover.
The NDR Big Band includes: Dieter Glawishnig (conductor); L. Axelsson, H. Habermann, B. Lanese, M. Moch (trumpet); W. Ahlers, P. Plato, M. Grossmann, E. Christmann (trombone); A. Boether, E. Wurster, H. Ende, K. Nagurski (flute, reeds); W. Schluter (vibraphone).
Recorded live at the Funkhaus Hannover, West Germany on April 28, 1988.
Despite a rough up-and-down life, Baker remained an excellent trumpeter to the end of his career. This concert, performed two weeks before his mysterious fall out of an Amsterdam hotel window (and his last known recording), is a near-perfect summation of his career. The emphasis is on his trumpet playing and Baker, whether backed by a symphony orchestra, a big band or playing in a small group with altoist Herb Geller, is in inspired form. This double-CD set is also available as two separate CDs and, in one form or another, is highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow