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Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Tuesday December 18

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. & £8.00. ‘The Gala Big Band Does Christmas’. SOLD OUT!

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

CD Review: Chet Baker - Live in London Volume 2.

Chet Baker (trumpet/vocals); John Horler (piano); Jim Richardson (bass); Tony Mann (drums). March/April 1983, London.
(Review by Lance)
I think it was in November 1955 that Jeff Kruger, who ran the Flamingo Club on Wardour St., presented Chet Baker in concert at the Royal Albert Hall - as a singer.
At the time, Baker was the trumpet player. He was touring Europe and, like all trumpet players from Satchmo to Dizzy, only sang to give his chops a rest but, because of MU restrictions on foreign musicians entering the UK, he was forbidden to play trumpet.
From what I recall from the reviews back then, his singing wasn't well received. On the jazz front, it was Jimmy Rushing, Joe Williams and George Melly who figured in the polls - none of them shrinking violets - whilst the pop charts in those pre-rock 'n' roll years were dominated by the shouters such as Frankie Laine and Johnny Ray. Even Sinatra hadn't quite recaptured the public as a singer so the fragrant will o' the wisp vocals of Chet were given short shrift. Little did those critics know that, years later, the voice would be ranked alongside the all-time greats.
By 1983, when these tracks were recorded on a SONY TCS 300 recorder at The Canteen on, I think, Longacre, Covent Garden, by bassist Richardson, Baker had had a tortured, well-documented, life and I suspect that many of those who turned up came to gloat as people do when they think the mighty have fallen. How wrong they were is witnessed by the music on this double CD and on Volume 1.
The vocals here, such as My Ideal and When I Fall in Love are perfect for a small venue, although, of course, much work needed to be done to restore the original tapes to the quality CD listeners expect today. They succeeded. In retrospect, looking back to 1955. the Royal Albert Hall was probably the worst place in the world to showcase a voice so intimate. Someone once said that, whereas Sinatra is singing to the world, Baker is singing to you. He does that here.
Likewise, with the trumpet playing, he didn't need a mute to play quiet, or a flugel to sound mellow, these things came naturally to him. Yet, despite being the epitome of cool there was always a flame on the backburner ready to flare-up. 
Horler is a sympathetic accompanist and in those days, as he still is these days, an outstanding soloist. Tony Mann, who now seems to be less active on the national scene, was a first call drummer and Jim Richardson, the lynchpin of many fine bands, was the mastermind behind the recordings having owned them for over 30 years. Like Volume1, Volume 2 is a must have!
Lance.
The double album is available on Ubuntu Music UBU0014 from August 10 and there is a launch concert at London's Jazz Café on Sept. 18. This features the John Horler Trio with Quentin Collins on trumpet, Leo Richardson on sax and guest vocalist Cherise Adams-Burnett.

4 comments :

Colin Haikney (On F/b) said...

My all-time favourite trumpet player.

Mal Maddock said...

I worked with Jim Richardson just before the release of these recordings & he was so enthusiastic ... about the quality that had been attained through the restoration process ! Jim called me when the release party was happening but I couldn't get there ... I must now go & buy the albums..... What a Jazz heart Chet Baker had !

Robert Alan Smith (on F/b). said...

I agree Colin. I first remember him in the earlier days with Gerry Mulligan's piano-less Quartet, then with his Quartet in Paris. What a beautiful player and what a waste of talent.

Frank Black said...

This is a terrific set. Kudos to all involved for bringing it to light.

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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