hip hop

Chet Baker – The Natural Genius of Jazz – Part 2


Following what must have been some very dark years for Chet Baker, and having to learn to play trumpet all over again with dentures, we enter a comeback period for this great jazz giant. Baker returns to his straight jazz style from the beginning of this playing career and relocates to New York.

He begins to record once more and his sound is even more developed, thoughtful and heartfelt than previously heard. Chet Baker was always an evolving musician and consistently grew in his ability to play simply and sincerely from the heart.

In the 70's Baker would return to Europe once more and play a great deal of jazz there through many recordings and live performances. Somehow he felt a kind of kinship in Europe that was missing from the US and in fact from 1978 until his death lived and played almost all the time in Europe returning to the US only on occasion each year.

Baker was always prolific in his recording ever since 1978 to 1988 his recording schedule hit its peak and he released a great many records on various small European labels. Because of the size and independent nature of these jazz labels most of the records never received wide exposure to the public despite being hailed by jazz critics.

Baker in this time had a definite wisdom and concern inside his phrasing and note selection, his playing was 'cooler' than ever. It's this period of Baker's career that critics now regards as the most rewarding.

Chet Baker died on May 13th in 1988 on a sidewalk in Amsterdam. His death was ruled as an accident and he had fallen from his hotel room window located on the second story. In his room they found heroin and cocaine and the drugs were also detected in his body.

Source by Payo W Perry

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Mitchel Turner



I’m a journalist from Oxford specializing in hip-hop and culture.