Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Man, Oh Man!!
Kevin Currie-Knight | Newark, Delaware | 01/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Isn't it funny? "East coast vs. West coast" debates are almost universal. In the 90's it was hip hop, in the 70's it was funk, and in the 50's it was - you guessed it - bebop. This CD was recorded in the thick of the bebop "Eeast v. West" wars; Chet Baker, the quintessential West coast trumpet player with laid back sound meets a stunning east coast rythm section, the bass and drums of which are from Miles Davis's fame. The results are unique, masterful and phenomenal. Without further ado let me say that this is in my top 5 list of jazz discs. Here we have Baker's laid back west coast melodicism (as he played by ear without technical training, his solos have a vocal-like melodicism) mixed with the undeniable east coast 'aggressive' swing. Both compliment eachother beautifully. My favorites? "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" has an undeniable magic and Baker's solo is one of the best I've heard EVER (right beside Miles' "Freddy Freeloader"). "Hotel 49" is a blistering track finding Baker surpisingly comfortable out of his element in the world of hard bop. "Fair Weather" starts off the CD and while not the strongest track (that goes to "Polka Dots and Moonbeams") it may be the track that captures the overall magic of the session and the 'tension of opposites' between Baker's laid back approach and the unrelenting east coast swing. Again, this CD is in the top 5 in my collection and when you hear it, you too may well understand why!"
Chet Baker In New York
Chris Covais | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't 'west coast' vs. 'east coast.' This is five extraudinary musicians, from different backgrounds who got together for a September session to record standards and jazz classics.
Chet Baker selected Johnny Griffen on tenor saxophone, Al Haig, a pioneer of bebop piano on piano, the bassist who was never out of work in the mid 50's and early 60's, Paul Chambers, and the hosue drummer for Riverside and Prestige Records, Philly Joe Jones.
The five men play together beautifully, although Griffen is left out on four tracks. Chet was a good material picker. The album opens up with 'Fair Weather.' Other great songs are 'Moonbeams,' When Lights Are Low,' and 'Hotel 49.'
In the liner notes, Orrin Keepknews stresses the fact that Chet is from California and the rest are from the east coast, (Philly, etc..) I find that to be a little irrelevant. This is just good jazz. No need to put a label on it.
Chet and crew gave way for a neat little album. It has been remastered in the fullest of form, except for the fact that Chet's horn gets destorted throughout the album. Musically, this album is brilliant. I just wish Chet would of stayed in New York a little longer, to make some more good jazz."
A great addition (or start) to any jazz collection
Daniel Lee | SF Bay Area, CA United States | 08/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The songs on this are all of a uniformly high quality with excellent performances by Chet Baker on trumpet, Johnny Griffin on tenor sax (for tracks 1, 3 and 5), Al Haig on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. The sound quality of the recording is very good with no audible artifacts. Hard to believe it's a live recording.The takes are medium in length, Solar being the shortest at 5:49 and Hotel 49 being the longest at 9:52. The quartet/quintet plays together well and makes amazing music, especially for "Polka Dots.." and "Hotel 49". The music is also very approachable without being simple. This is one of the Jazz CD's my classical loving wife really likes. Highly recommended."