Chet Baker Stairway to the Stars
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- Released: September 3, 1996
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Imports
Down Beat - 5/97, p.754.5 (out of 5 Stars) - "...Forget cool! In these sessions, made over three days in August 1965, Baker works with the fire that Miles showed in his Coltrane quintet....The material, like the performances, is first-rate..."
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Personnel: Chet Baker (flugelhorn); George Coleman (tenor saxophone); Kirk Lightsey (piano); Herman Wright (bass); Roy Brooks (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey from August 23-25, 1965. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler, Jack McKinney, Bob Porter, Michael Morgan and Mark Gardner.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1996, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Chet Baker (flugelhorn); George Coleman (tenor saxophone); Kirk Lightsey (piano); Roy Brooks (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Authors: Mark Gardner ; Michael Morgan ; Ira Gitler; Jack McKinney; Bob Porter.
Recording information: Englewood Cliffs, NJ (08/23/1965-08/25/1965).
Photographer: William Claxton.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Chet Baker ; George Coleman; Herman Wright; Kirk Lightsey; Roy Brooks.
In August 1965, Chet Baker undertook a three-day recording marathon in a studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, that resulted in five fine albums. Tracks from the second album, GROOVIN,' the third, COMIN' ON, and the fourth, COOL BURNIN', are compiled into this release, the second in a series of three CD reissues of these classic sessions. The outstanding quintet includes the tenor saxophonist George Coleman, who was part of the Miles Davis Quintet. His tough, angular playing is prominently featured throughout these sessions, and he's a wonderful foil to Baker's emotional lyricism.
Baker's playing here is inspired, energized, and fiery, and less introspective than his past recordings that focused on lyrical ballads. Highlights include a fiercely swinging version of the standard "Cherokee" and three fine tunes by pianist Tadd Dameron, "Bevan Beeps," "Choose Now," and "The 490," as well as a sweet and haunting take on the title track. This is pure and inspired jazz that makes for very cool listening.
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