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Bebop Spoken There

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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

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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.

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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