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Chet Baker

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Biography

Yale OK, United States (1929 – 1988)

Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 - May 13, 1988) was born in Yale, Oklahoma. A player, Baker was an important part of the West coast “” school of the 1950s. He first came to prominence in the world as part of the pianoless Gerry Mulligan Quartet — Mulligan had played with Miles Davis, whose Birth of the Cool is recognized as ushering in the movement.

Baker’s trumpet playing is characterized by incredibly sweet tones, clear and almost vibrato-less. He was also a ist, and his vocal stylings matched his trumpet-playing in terms of style and feeling, with an emphasis on clarity and gentleness of expression, rather than vibrato or vocal pyrotechnics.

While he was widely acclaimed musically, and his movie-star good looks ensured plenty of popular attention, his personal life was extremely troubled. A heroin addict, his relationships and life were marked by disorder. His addiction led to jail time, and a street fight with drug dealers caused him the loss of his front and other teeth, which forced him to learn to play the trumpet with dentures.

For the last ten years of his life, Baker lived in Europe, where he toured and recorded extensively. Even though he was sunk in obscurity by the time, jazz afficionados consider his late recordings his best.

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  • leonidascomet

    old devil moon!!!

    5 Nov 10:59am Reply
  • vividserenity

    Man I wish he'd have sung more frequently in his material!

    10 Oct 9:40pm Reply
  • GuiSidarta

    Combina muito comigo...

    21 Aug 10:45pm Reply
  • burningwaffles

    just amazing, each song is a love story!

    21 Aug 2:04am Reply
  • viictorngz

    "almost blue" is almost blue

    9 Aug 3:34pm Reply
  • choosefruit

    I Fall in Love Too Easily... with Chet Baker.

    14 Jul 9:10pm Reply
  • mc_dull

    but not for me

    16 May 3:16am Reply
  • Ardianfirdaus

    Magic comfort!!

    21 Apr 3:36pm Reply
  • gokunirvana

    The "Chet Baker & Strings" album is amazing. The string arrangements make the record sound like one of those pop standard albums of the 40's, but with a more modern and sophisticated approach. It's certainly wonderful.

    16 Apr 3:55am Reply
  • Cat_007

    Alone together a magic tune.

    15 Apr 1:27pm Reply
  • Sunzy

    You don't know how hearts burn for love that cannot live yet never dies, until you've faced each dawn with sleepless eyes. [2]

    4 Apr 10:57pm Reply
  • goodW1N

    скучноват но фотки у него стильные

    31 Mar 8:07am Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    недавно на виниле его купил, но вообще он просто скучный чувак

    18 Mar 3:17pm Reply
  • pachanka

    Get him away from the window!! GET AWAAY!!

    16 Mar 11:25am Reply
  • DropSoap

    THAT FEEL

    13 Feb 8:19pm Reply
  • gokunirvana

    But I agree, his voice has that special feel, almost magical. Chet definitely knew how to use it like another instrument.

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • gokunirvana

    @Fakyre: Don't worry, his most praised and respected records are precisely those where he sings. And seeing the charts here, they are still his most famous works. I think he doesn't receive the praise he deserves for his overall output, but that's something like an unwritten rule for any jazz musician who isn't Miles Davis or John Coltrane (both deserve it, by the way!)

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Astasheva

    magically

    24 Nov 2013 Reply
  • TiagoJara

    feeling blue.

    12 Nov 2013 Reply
  • saltyknuckles

    Featured on SaltyKnuckles ~ Oldies №50 - http://oldies.saltyknuckles.net/2013-45/

    8 Nov 2013 Reply
  • All 434 shouts