Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
It Could Happen to You
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Hardly as angst-ridden as Chet Baker's legend would suggest, 1958's It Could Happen to You is Baker still riding high, a star winsomely crooning some favorite standards over subtle accompaniment by small groups whose membe... more »
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Hardly as angst-ridden as Chet Baker's legend would suggest, 1958's It Could Happen to You is Baker still riding high, a star winsomely crooning some favorite standards over subtle accompaniment by small groups whose members include pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Sam Jones, and the unstoppable Philly Joe Jones on drums. Baker's boyish moods are perfect for the likes of "How Long Has This Been Going On?," "You're Driving Me Crazy," and (believe it) "Everything Happens to Me." --Rickey Wright
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COOL is the word, so laid-back it's ridiculous!
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 01/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Classic is the word reserved for recordings like this. Baker's vocal performance here is one of the greatest displays of 'feel' virtuosity you will ever hear in your life. By 'feel' virtuosity, I mean knowing exactly the right tone, dynamics and delivery that best fits the overall mood of the tunes in question. Like Fagen of Steely Dan and other singers of limited means, knowledge of how to sing exactly the right 'feel' into the overall mood rules all. This overall mood created by Kenny Drew, George Morrow, Sam Jones, Phlly Joe Jones and Danny Richmond is breezy 'cool' personified and so laid-back, one more step would make it comatose and yet that step is never taken even once. The tunes groove and swing like crazy in a ridiculously addictive way because no matter how smokin' the band gets, it's always COMPLETELY laid-back, WITHOUT being trivial,sappy or insignificant or god forbid, in the territory of what later came to be called 'smooth jazz.' This is not 'smooth' jazz or even 'Bing Crosby jazz' despite being the suavest of the suave, it is the EPITOME of 'cool' jazz, one of the ultimate fruits of the so-called Miles Davis school, which incorporates street-smarts and attitude into jazz and the reason why Davis' back-up players, from Paul Chambers to Philly Joe Jones to Bill Evans, etc., all played with Chet. Davis himself felt that Chet was a good player and a nice enough guy but was personally rather cold to him the few times they met because he felt Chet had stolen a lot of stuff from him, stylewise. Be that as it may, many jazz fans feel that Chet's trumpet playing, besides being the greatest homage to the Miles Davis style there ever was (especially on the classic all instrumental "Chet" album) is also unique enough to be recognized as its own style within the cool-jazz influenced group.
According to the warts-&-all exhaustive biography "The Long Night of Chet Baker," at this point in time, Chet's heroin addiction was still at its relatively early stages. Chet had been pretty much just a heavy marijuana smoker throughout most of the early fifties as more hardcore heroin users like Stan Getz were overdosing in his bathroom and Gerry Mulligan was doing prison time. So here was Chet at his peak, already addicted to heroin but right before heroin started taking control of his life. To illustrate, the author quotes Orrin Keepnews that right around this time Chet and Philly Joe Jones started stealing and selling Fantasy/Riverside albums right from their warehouse across the street in order to pay for their habits.
"It Could Happen to You" works equally well as a great pop or jazz record. The ability of the players and virtuosity and attention to nuance with which they play, not to mention the purity, makes it squarely jazz. But it's also a vocal jazz album of popular 'standard' tunes with only a few trumpet solos in the right spots which, when they come, man do they hit their mark! Sometimes instead of the trumpet solo, Chet sings or scats the trumpet solos in a super-cool swinging manner bordering on the surreal and silly that within this background and setting is pure magic itself. These scats really soar and groove right into laid-back nirvana. Kenny Drew on piano offers here the most exquisitely perfect accompaniment to Chet's boyish-but-rough vocals you will ever hear. Never too sappy, never too harsh, romantic but ever-understated at all times just like Chet himself.
On top of it all, this may be one of the most perfect 'ambient' jazz/pop albums you will ever hear. All the tunes are great, nothing to skip and the dynamics are always mellow, understated and enveloping. You can leave it on 'repeat' all day and never want the perfected understated feel to end. The more you play this album, the better it gets, it completely relaxes at the same time as it challenges and refuses compromise. An exquisite and unique work of art from beginning to end. This 1991 remastered domestic CD has remarkably good sound although there are Japanese releases with more recent remastering I haven't heard."
Chet Baker takes on these songs--and wow, how he succeeds !!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chet Baker Sings It Could Happen To You features the fine vocal talent of the immortal Chet Baker. He also plays the trumpet along with the other musicians on this album. I love to hear Chet Baker sing. Period. He could take any ballad or tune and infuse it with so much passion that it invariably sounded new, fresh and genuinely emotional in all the right ways. Chet's talent was very rare; and this CD shows just that. Kenny Drew's piano playing on these tracks is also absolutely flawless. The quality of the sound is excellent and I really like that artwork very much.
"Do It The Hard Way" has a fine jazz arrangement; Chet handles the tempo and key changes like the pro he always was and still remains! Chet's voice has that trademark touch of vulnerability that made him so popular with his adoring audiences; Chet's singing shows this quality very clearly all throughout the album. "I'm Old Fashioned" is a classic pop vocal that has a wonderful piano arrangement. "I'm Old Fashioned" may have the best piano arrangement I've heard for this number; but make no mistake about it: Chet Baker is squarely front and center and that's more than quite all right by me! "I'm Old Fashioned" is a major highlight of this CD. "You're Driving Me Crazy" has an upbeat arrangement that moves along at a slightly faster speed than I'm used to hearing but it all holds its own very well.
"It Could Happen To You" is a huge highlight of this album; Chet Baker sings this to perfection and beyond! I could never tire of hearing Chet sing this sublime rendition of this classic pop vocal tune; he delivers this with very elegantly. "It Could Happen To You" sounds heavenly in Chet's capable hands; and that's grand. "My Heart Stood Still" shines bright when Chet and the others perform this; and I am especially fond of their version of "The More I See You." "The More I See You" has a fine arrangement that plays with the tempo a bit but again Chet's version works well. "The More I See You" really lacks nothing.
"Everything Happens To Me" is a charmer that Chet and the others ace as effortlessly as if it were just breathing; and "How Long Has This Been Going On?" glitters like silver and gold combined when Chet and his buddies do this one up right! "How Long Has This Been Going On?" is bound to impress you every bit as much as it impresses me; it's all THAT good. "Old Devil Moon" sports a fine arrangement and Chet never lets go of a superfluous note; and the CD ends very strong with Chet Baker and the others performing "You Make Me Feel So Young." "You Make Me Feel So Young" gets an upbeat yet rather sensitive treatment from these fine artists; and it left me wanting so much more! "You Make Me Feel So Young" provides a stunning end for this album.
Chet Baker could sing and play the trumpet alongside the best of them; and albums like this one showcase his exceptional talents. I highly recommend this for Chet Baker fans; and people who enjoy classic pop vocals with jazzy arrangements will cherish this CD for many years to come.
Thank you, Chet! We miss you!