"Granted this may not be considered a jazz staple, but I can't seem to stop listening. It's jazz for the summer, or winter, or anytime other than a rainy day. Continually upbeat, surprisingly inventive for this victim of fashion, it's strong from start to finish. Picture of Health is also special for the sheer fact that, while a great listen, it does not require attention. So, give Chet a chance, you'll like it."
Were it a picture of health.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 07/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The bottom line: six original tunes orchestrated and executed beautifully by the three-horn front-line and supported by a state-of-the-art rhythm section (you just can't do better than Carl Perkins and Curtis Counce). The downside: the necessary reduction of solo space, especially for Perkins' piano, and an unavoidable sense of sameness.
The photo makes it clear that Chet, looking blase as the only seated member of the horn section, has the least interest in the proceedings. What's less clear is how even a "natural" such as Chet, who was renowned for not being able to read music, could handle intricate arrangements such as these. Moreover, Chet and Pepper--two of the most identifiable and expressive voices in jazz--sound like "merely" proficient players on this occasion. Chet employs an uncharacteristically extrovertish, brassy sound, and Art negotiates chord changes as he did in the Kenton big band. The album at least reveals the scarce-recorded Phil Urso to have been a player capable of rising to practically the same level as his two celebrated peers. Of the tunes, Heath's "For Minors Only" is the only one that caught on as a jazz standard (a "minor" one).
There's no small irony that this tribute to a "master," Jimmy Heath, would come from four ill-starred musicians who left us 25 to 45 years ago while Jimmy is still going strong in 2006. Four of the six musicians producing a picture of Heath were themselves apparently anything but a picture of health, physically or mentally.
This could have been a five-star session with the subtraction of one, possibly even two, of the horn players. I'd love to see Chet's horn being placed to the fire, bringing some earnest sweat to his brow, and this is a rhythm section made for the part. All the same, if this were a Van Gelder-engineered Blue Note session under the leadership of Sonny Clark, Tina Brooks, or any other cultish East-Coast player, it would no doubt be revered as a classic."
Wonderful recordigs !
Per Danielsen | 05/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful recording ! With pianist Carl Perkins ! Very intresting ! Same recordings on: Chet Baker & Art Pepper "PLAYBOYS" !"
Not bad, a good 50's bop session.
J. Bewley | San Diego, CA | 01/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This music swings and has a bop feel to most of the arrangements, so don't look for much cool toned inflection in the album. Would I buy this CD again? Yes. jb"