Artist picture of Chet Baker

Chet Baker

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Artist's top tracks

Almost Blue Chet Baker 07:55
My Funny Valentine Chet Baker 02:20
The Touch of Your Lips Chet Baker, Doug Raney, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen 08:19
Alone Together Chet Baker 06:53
Polka Dots And Moonbeams Chet Baker 07:56
The More I See You Chet Baker 03:03
I Waited for You Chet Baker, Doug Raney, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen 08:08
It's Always You Chet Baker 03:35
I Fall In Love Too Easily Chet Baker 03:21
The Thrill Is Gone Chet Baker 02:51

Most popular release

The Thrill Is Gone
But Not For Me
Time After Time
I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)

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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.