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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

CD/LP Review: Chet Baker - Easy to Love

Chet Baker (trumpet/vocal) w, Russ Freeman (piano); Carson Smith/Red Mitchell/Bob Whitlock/Joe Mondragon (bass); Larry Bunker/Shelly Manne/Bobby White (drums); Herb Geller (alto/tenor); Jack Montrose (tenor); Bob Gordon (baritone).
(Review by Lance).

When the avalanche of current CDs threatens to push me towards a nervous breakdown, rather than visiting a 'shrink' I find therapy by drawing from the recent batch of reissues by Dreyfus Jazz.

This particular panacea is administered by some 1950's Chet Baker tracks. Forget the darkened room or the tranquilisers - this is better than snake oil.
I hang my head in shame as I recall how I allowed myself to be brainwashed by the writings of the pundits of the day who dismissed Baker as a minor talent. Miles was their idol and, whilst he was the more futuristic looking of the two players, Chet was the more lyrical by far.

These 19 tracks have all been heard before but familiarity doesn't breed contempt, if anything, it reminds us of how wide of the mark were those critics who regarded the west coast cool school as some form of emasculated jazz.

The quartet tracks have Russ Freeman on piano giving a timely reminder for those who didn't hear him at Newcastle City Hall with JATP at just what they missed and how good a pianist he was. Freeman remains on piano for the larger ensemble with other major league players of the day such as Geller, Bob Gordon and Montrose each, in baseball terms, batting three hundred (.300) over the 3 tracks.

Lavish strings arranged by Johnny Mandel provide the cushion for the luxuriant setting of You Don't Know What Love is.

Chet sings I Fall in Love Too Easily - perhaps one of the all-time great vocals. 

An absolute gem!
Lance.
Long Ago and Far Away; Isn't it Romantic?; Easy to Love; Imagination; Happy Little Sunbeam; The Thrill is Gone; Russ Job; This Time the Dream's On Me; Carson City Stage; Moon Love; Bea's Flat; I Fall in Love Too Easily; No Ties; Moonlight Becomes You*; Bokhanal*; Ergo*; You Don't Know What Love is; All the Things you Are; The Maid in Mexico.
* Larger group. 

1 comment :

Patti (on F/b) said...

I have mine on order - the CD, which I had to order from Amazon, as only vinyl was available on the Dreyfuss site. And it sure is easy to love a little Chet magic!

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