Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
My Funny Valentine
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Chet Baker was at the height of his popularity, the epitome of cool jazz, when these tracks were recorded for Pacific Jazz between 1952 and 1954. While Baker could hold his own in bop settings, the emphasis in this collect... more »
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Chet Baker was at the height of his popularity, the epitome of cool jazz, when these tracks were recorded for Pacific Jazz between 1952 and 1954. While Baker could hold his own in bop settings, the emphasis in this collection is squarely on his lyrical approach to ballads, whether singing or playing trumpet, with just a rhythm section or an added string orchestra. His vocals were absolutely distinctive, sung in a high-pitched, even fragile voice seemingly drained of emotion and yet possessing an inherent charm, a detachment that might be both the antithesis of style and its definition, whether it's heard as sensitivity or indifference. The singing is a double of his trumpet playing here, spare and barely present but achieving much through nuance and suggestion. Pianist Russ Freeman is an almost constant partner, supplying deft chords and harmonic daring, amplifying Baker's ideas. Their empathy is especially evident in the beautiful instrumental "Moon Love," but it's just as significant on signature Baker songs such as "My Funny Valentine," "Let's Get Lost," and "Like Someone in Love." --Stuart Broomer
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Chet's most popular vocal album
rash67 | USA | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chet Baker was already a budding jazz trumpet star when he decided to try vocals, the natural extension of his close-to-the-melodic-line trumpet style.Chet Baker, apres le deluge, with the movie star looks intact and the high-pitched, fragile, Cool, sensitive voice sings (mostly) here on his best selling vocal album. And he signs on key! (In his later years, after a lot of bad habits, his trumpet playing improved, and his singing was consistantly flat). But here he is before his habits had taken their toll.His singing style, even in the 50's, points back to a much earlier era, to the Crosby/Sinatra romantic and sad Saloon Songs of the 30's and 40's. And Chet always seemed to have a group of young women following him around, like Sinatra. Here he often seems so fragile, etherial, non-macho and so sensitive as to be not of this earth. This album is definately Midnight listening, laid back, romantic, wistful music pointing to a time long ago or a time that never was. A stress antidote. A treasure to Chet Baker fans and lovers. There is a "best of" which contains many of these highlights, but this is the original. Probably the best introduction to Chet's vocal music. And of course it contains "My Funny Valentine"! 5 stars for a bestseller."
Elskabar | Patersopn, New Jersey | 03/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This musical recording astounded me during a visit to a friend's home for supper. I enjoyed it so much, that I forgot I was there to eat. One can easily sink into a chair while listening to Chet and forget why one IS. Chet's vocal delivery is voluptious, enrapturing, warm, and invites you to protect. It is as if words became tears and laughter doused by irony. I highly recommend this album for your most special gatherings, or for those times when you just want to be alone with your thoughts. It is perfect for listening to, or background music. I look forward to creating a collection of this man's wonderful work."
Lovely early recordings from Chet Baker
Nathan | Charlotte, N.C. United States | 07/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know how well regarded this Chet Baker album is, but it is damn good. I was first introduced to this excellent trumpeter and balladeer through his quiet, mysterious and mournful version of 'My Funny Valentine', which serves as not only the title of this album, but as the opening track. I was instantly struck by his strange, soft voice and style, and his approach to this number was almost eerie and spooky-sounding. This album, I feel, is a great introduction to him as well as the West Coast Jazz scene of the 1950's that dominated the glamorous nightlife of Hollywood. It is an excellent collection of standards by songwriting greats, many of which are some of my personal all-time favorites. His renderings of tunes like 'I'm Glad There Is you' with his striking and melodic brand of trumpet-playing, an excellently-pieced together 'Time After Time', and a quintessential version of the lovelorn 'I Fall in Love Too Easily' that closes the album will leave you breathless and are truly gems to behold. His voice is so sensitive and heartbreaking, it can sway the song from sounding sad to sounding all-out hopeless.Baker could take almost any song, no matter how midtempo or easygoing the arrangement, and develop it with his style, so that it had a kind of dejected and mournful vibe. All of the fourteen cuts on this album are proof of that. There were few jazz musicians working in the 1950's that were really adopting traditional forms of barroom jazz and saloon songs with their own touch and style, and remaining respectful. This is a great example of such though. A classic album for any jazz fan's collection."