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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, October 03, 2016

CD [double] Review: Chet Baker - Live in London.

Chet Baker (tpt/vcl); John Horler (pno); Jim Richardson (bs); Tony Mann (dms).
(Review by Lance).
They came to bury Chet Baker - not to praise him. How wrong they were! Six nights at The Canteen in London in 1983 told the mourners [critics] that, although the sculptured facial features that had adorned so many magazine covers and album sleeves had been replaced by the tightly drawn, anguished, gaunt face of a man twice his age, the music hadn't paled. If anything there was a more fiery approach. Chet was still cool but the music burned more.
With a strong team of Soho Supermen behind him, Baker didn't let the listeners down - not if this recording is anything to go by!
LondonJazzBlog's major-domo, Sebastian Scotney, recalls in the album notes his memories of those nights at The Canteen. "I remember how assertive his playing was, how fluent and strong the lines were."
Words that are rubber-stamped by listening to the album. I'll even go out on a limb and say his playing is every bit as good as it was in the glory years. Bassist Richardson, who recorded the sessions on audio cassette, agrees, "I have a huge quantity of Chet Baker recordings and what we have here is the best."
The trumpet playing is great but let's not forget Chet was also a vocalist of no mean ability and it is here where the emotion creeps in. No, it doesn't creep, it arrives in a flood!
The almost whispered The Touch of Your Lips has a poignancy that brought near tears to my eyes. Omit near! Think of the last recordings of Billie Holiday where the voice was almost gone but the feeling, the emotive content, was there more than ever and you've got the picture. The trumpet solo following the vocal was, possibly the most lyrical on both CDs. Horler and Richardson stretch out, no doubt giving Chet time to get his vocal chords back on track. I think this is the most moving vocal I've ever heard by anyone anywhere although My Funny Valentine runs it close and, maybe, gets its head in front on the line!
I should also mention that Horler, Richardson, and Mann give Chet backing equal to anything he could have found in the jazz world at that time (Well maybe in NYC or LA - maybe).
Five years on he was dead...
Lance.
CD 1: Have You Met Miss Jones; Beatrice; For Minors Only; The Touch of Your Lips (vcl); Margarine (Tangerine!)
CD 2: With a Song in my Heart: Leaving; I Remember You (vcl/scat); My Funny Valentine (vcl); I'll Remember April.

1 comment :

Martin Hummel said...

Thank you, Lance, for your exceedingly kind words.
This project has been a labour of love, driven by exceptional music.
Chet's legacy lives on...
Best wishes,
Martin Hummel, Director, Ubuntu Music

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