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Chet Baker & Strings
Chet Baker
Chet Baker & Strings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1954 Jazz classic by Chet Baker in a quintet setting backed by a nine-piece string section. Includes three bonus tracks: 'You Don't Know What Love Is' (Alternate Take), 'Y...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Chet Baker
Title: Chet Baker & Strings
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 6/9/1998
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Cool Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646556221


Album Description
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1954 Jazz classic by Chet Baker in a quintet setting backed by a nine-piece string section. Includes three bonus tracks: 'You Don't Know What Love Is' (Alternate Take), 'You'd Better Go Now' (Alternate Take) and 'Little Duet For Zoot And Chet' (Alternate Take). Musical assistance from Bud Shank, Zoot Sims, Jack Montrose, Russ Freeman, Joe Mondragon and Shelly Manne with strings arranged by Marty Paich, Johnny Mandel and Shorty Rogers. 15 tracks. Sony. 2006.

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CD Reviews

Romantic trumpet with a bit of swing...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 02/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Chet doesn't sing on this 1953 release, unfortunately. The CD reissue clocks in at about 46 minutes with a few bonus tracks, and sounds great considering its age. This is great for background if dining (or otherwise occupied) with a special partner. The strings, flute, saxophones, piano, bass and drums enhance the songs without overshadowing Chet himself. It impresses more with repeated playing, as one gets beneath the "easy listening" sheen. There's a Miles Davis compilation, also on Columbia, called "Love Songs" which was issued to accomplish the same purpose as this Baker effort. The Davis disc features mellow trumpeting from 1957-65 or so, and has no songs in common with "Chet and Strings." I own both, and I like both artists, but the Baker is definitely better for casual listening while romancing or relaxing. The Davis CD is simply less interesting and too bland, something that certainly could not be said about much in his catalogue. Chet came to mass popularity before Miles, but Davis beat heroin in 1954 and the drug finally killed Baker in the 80's, destroying his U.S. career decades earlier. Davis had a wider and deeper talent, but Chet Baker was in these early releases quite a phenom."
Classical meets Classic Jazz
the Chad | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since Chet Baker is best at cool romantic jazz it only makes sense for him to incorporate lush orchestral arrangements with each song. I believe this to be Chet's finest moments enhanced by the new remastered version. This album has Chet playing brilliant cool jazz, "What a Difference a Day Made" is an instant classic.
This is very much a love album another great one to play with while having dinner or laying in a warm tub. There are a couple of hard boppers "Love walked in", "Love" and "A Little duet for Zoot and Chet". But they never seem out of place with the slower tempo songs. If anything they add spontaneity and keep the album from getting monotonous and boring.
I believe chet peaked with this album. Some of his best love songs are on here "The Wind", "You don't know what Love is","I Married an angel". If your going to listen to with Chet Baker this is the best place to start."
"His Jazz Conception Was So Strikingly Original, His Sound S
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 07/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""When Chet Baker joined Gerry Mulligan's pianoless quartet in September of 1952, he was a mere twenty-three years of age practically unknown in the music world. The young musician's jazz conception was so strikingly original, his sound so pleasing and intimate, that international recognition of his talents came in a short time. One year after his first record release he was voted the country's best jazz trumpet player in year-end popularity polls conducted by both Down Beat and Metronome magazines. This was unprecedented; no musician in the history of either poll had come from obscurity to the coveted first place position in less than one year." ~ Mike Zwerin ~

It's not easy pulling together great musicians such as tenor sax players Zoot Zims and Jack Montrose, alto saxophonist Bud Shank, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Joe Mondragon, drummer Shelly Manne, fine arrangers Johnny Mandel, Marty Paich and Shorty Rogers to record a beautiful album, but Chet Baker made it happen with "Chet Baker & Strings." When it comes to trumpet playing, he was an institution. He was one of the best trumpeters of all-time and this album is a testimony of his remarkable talent that was never unappreciated by his fellow musicians and many jazz lovers as well.

Baker and the regular musicians are backed by a nine-piece string section that utilized six violins, two violas and a cello making all the tunes so "pleasing and intimate." The last three alternate takes are bonus tracks and not included on the original LP record that was produced in 1954 by Columbia Records.

To my ears, some of the loveliest tunes from this set include George Gershwin's "Love Walked In" executed in such a beautiful rendition with an enchanting arrangement scored by Marty Paich, a graduate of the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music who is not only recognized as a fine arranger, but also a talented jazz pianist. He worked with Peggy Lee as an accompanist/arranger for many years.

You'll also be enthralled with Cole Porter's "I Love You" done in a breezy and smooth flowing arrangement by Johnny Mandel, a brilliant composer/arranger/musician who attended the prestigious Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard School of Music who also wrote the charts for the equally impressive melodies of "You Don't Know What Love Is," "The Wind" and "Love."

Shorty Rogers wonderful chart arrangements on "What A Diff'rence A Day Made" and "I'm Through With Love" have elevated these tunes into a greater degree of appreciation. Also one of the best tracks is "You Better Go Now," a hauntingly beautiful melody by Graham Reichner made more lovable with Jack Montrose's noteworthy chart arrangement.

I'm a huge fan of strings that's why I truly enjoy listening to this CD, one of the most remarkably romantic Chet Baker recordings that is worthy to be added to your music library. Give it a listen and enjoy!