This is a collection of previously unreleased Chet Baker recordings made between 1979 and 1987, plus a tribute track recorded in 1993.
Personnel: Chet Baker (vocals, trumpet); Lillias White (vocals); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Wolfgang Lackerschmid (vibraphone, gong); Donald Johnston (piano); Larry Coryell, Nicola Stilo (guitar); Buster Williams, Gunter Lenz, Ron McClure (bass); Tony Williams, Jeff Hirshfield (drums).
Recorded at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, Stuttgart, Germany on January 8 & 9 and in November 1979; Studio Loya, Bischofsmais, Germany from August 26-28, 1987;
Systems Two, Brooklyn, New York in August 1993. Includes liner notes by Hans-Jurgen Schaal and Carol Baker.
Digitally remastered by Wolfgang Meyscheider.
These are among the last studio recordings of the late, legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, recorded in Germany in 1979 and 1987. Featured prominently is the vibraphone playing of Wolfgang Lackerschid, who became a friend and something of a musical soulmate to Baker while in Europe. These performances are in duo, trio, quartet and quintet contexts, with Baker's trumpet commanding (though not monopolizing) center stage. His playing, heard today, is still haunting and beautiful--the epitome of grace and "cool."
Baker attains empathy with a somewhat unlikely group: Tony Williams (who in the '60s played with Miles Davis), Buster Williams and Larry Coryell (one of the fathers of jazz-rock fusion). As a bonus, there is "Chet's Ballad (Why Shouldn't You Cry)," a posthumous tribute tune featuring Lee Konitz and the voice of Lillas White, recorded in 1993. All in all, a lovely disc--invaluable to Baker fans and those who want to check out one of jazz's best players and most unusual characters (see the documentary film "Let's Get Lost.") Two thumbs way up.