Thursday 16 May 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

Chet Baker was known for his voice, his trumpet and being cool; this re-issue 'Chet On Poetry' has the benefit of all three!

Last month we looked back (and forward) with Yellowtail's 'easons In My Mind' with  remixes (see rview HERE) that featured another jazz vocal original, Mark Murphy.

Baker is even a bigger name in jazz and as a swan song (recorded in 1988 in Rome and originally released the year later after he passed away) has been somewhat overlooked.

So it's a good time to re-assess this one and, in some ways, come to terms with what Chet could envisage from his West Coast notoriety.  And it you start with 'Party Is Over', whilst his voice may have lost something over the years, the track could be early Jazzanova!  And don't be put off by the opener being a (yet another) version of 'In A Sentimental Mood' but put in the context of an album based on poetry and music (by Nicola Stilo who was in the Chet Baker Quartet and plays flute guitar, piano and synthesizer on this album) with poetry 

The remastered original tapes also feature Carla Marcotulli (backing vocal), Enzo Peitropaoli (double bass), Roberto Gatto (drums) and Alfredo Minotti (percussion) with Chet on trumpet and vocals as interpretations of translated Roman poets Gianluca Manzi and Maurizio Guercini.

There's some glorious flute on here, notably on 'With Sadness' and the Jack Kerouac-ness of 'Waiting For Chet' (both highlights on the album).

Chet's horn is fantastic as you'd expect from a true master and whilst the pathos of 'Like The Precedent' is a little downbeat, the horn on the semi-bossa of 'Deep Arabesques' and the jazz-bounce of 'Chet's Blues' is proof (none needed) of what a star he is.

In addition to the Duke Ellington cover, he does Elvis Costello's 'Almost Blue' (come on, he's not got to do 'Watching The Detectives' or '(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea' - perhaps he should have?)

This may not have been his last album/performance but one of the most unusual and now available in 'all' formats, you've got no excuse to treat yourself to a copy.

Artist: Chet Baker
Title: Chet On Poetry  
Release date: 14th May, 2024 
Label : Right Tempo 
Catalog Number : -
Format : LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp


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