Chet Baker: In New York (American Jazz Classics/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Chet Baker: Soft Winds
Chet Baker: In New York (American Jazz Classics/Southbound)

Although you could hardly argue with a line-up which had tenor player Johnny Griffin, pianist Al Haig, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones alongside trumpeter Chet Baker, the result was a fairly mainstream, late Fifties sessions which -- while admittedly pushing Baker in a way he hadn't previously -- don't really separate themselves from the pack.

Of course there is fine playing here, but there is little frisson of discovery or innovation. Griffin plays on only three tracks (the order on this reissue has been curiously rejigged to place them first) and they are among the best, particularly Hotel 49 which also some fine arco work from Chambers.

Around this time Baker tried his hand at another vocal album, as well as a larger band session (Herbie Mann, Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams and others) on Lerner and Loewe tunes (four of which are added as bonus tracks). He seemed searching for a place in the jazz spectrum.

There is a lot -- a whole lot -- of Baker out there, this isn't among the most important. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

ORNETTE COLEMAN, LOVE REVOLUTION 1968: The Italian job

ORNETTE COLEMAN, LOVE REVOLUTION 1968: The Italian job

I thought I knew all about Ornette Coleman, a man nominally described as a jazz musician but among the most unconstrained musical geniuses of the 20th century.  I’ve got a couple of... > Read more

Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

Among the many reasons to pay attention to, and respect, British pianist Cowley is this: a few years back for a tribute record to the Beatles' "White Album" he did a version of . . . .... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

It's extraordinary to think that harmonica player Cotton played with Howlin' Wolf back in the early Fifties and then Muddy Waters, and at 77 he's not only still here but blowing up a hurricane on... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WRITERS QUESTIONNAIRE: Willy Vlautin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WRITERS QUESTIONNAIRE: Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin perhaps first came on to people's radar with his Oregon band Richmond Fontaine. Albums like The Fitzgerald, Thirteen Cities and We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded like a River... > Read more