Artist picture of Chet Baker

Chet Baker

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My Funny Valentine Chet Baker 02:19
How High The Moon Chet Baker 03:37
Like Someone In Love Chet Baker 02:23
Tis Autumn Chet Baker 05:18
I've Never Been In Love Before Chet Baker 04:23
Almost Blue Chet Baker 07:55
Round About Midnight Thelonious Monk 07:28
But Not For Me Chet Baker 03:03
That Old Feeling Chet Baker 02:59
It's Always You Chet Baker 03:31

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Biography

With his striking good looks and brilliant trumpet technique, Chet Baker was the epitome of jazz cool in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s until drug dependency contrived to wreck both. The son of a professional guitarist, Baker's musical involvement began with him singing in local church choirs in Oklahoma, gravitating to trombone and trumpet at his father's behest. He left school at 16 to join the US Army but left in 1950 to pursue a musical career - initially joining the Sixth Army Band in San Francisco. Involvement at various San Francisco clubs fuelled his interest in jazz and, after a spell with Vido Musso's band, Baker established his innovative reputation after joining Charlie Parker's band and then the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. His trumpet solo on Mulligan's arrangement of My Funny Valentine was particularly influential and in 1953 his profile grew even higher with his solo album Chet Baker Sings. His career was constantly hampered by drug problems but during the 1960s he developed a new style based around the flugelhorn that became known as "West Coast Jazz". After all his teeth were broken when he was beaten up by thugs in 1968 Baker had to totally re-learn his playing technique and from the early 1970s he spent most of his time in Europe. He went on to play on Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding (and recorded Costello's song Almost Blue), toured with Stan Getz and continued to impress on tours and albums with his own quartet and trio. Drugs took their toll, however, and in 1988 Baker was found dead after falling from a hotel window in Amsterdam.