Chet Baker

I’m resurrecting my Chet Baker thread from 2021/22 that received a modest amount of replies and so will hopefully be of interest again to some of you.

I’m going to try something a little different this time and go through my own collection Chronologically in order of recording not release posting photographs, giving each record some context with some of my own thoughts to hopefully prompt some discussion and what would be really nice some of your recommendations.

My collection is quite large but by no means extensive Chet was prolific especially in the 1970’s and '80’s so your input is very welcome to help me fill in some of the gaps in my collection.


First up is

LEE KONITZ plays with the GERRY MULLIGAN quartet

World Pacific Records PJM - 406 Pacific Jazz Series 1957


A1 I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me 3:05
A2 Broadway 2:54
A3 Almost Like Being In Love 2:55
A4 Sextet 2:54
A5 Lady Be Good 2:28
B1 Too Marvelous For Words 3:48
B2 Lover Man 3:05
B3 I’ll Remember April 4:10
B4 These Foolish Things 3:28
B5 All The Things You Are 3:55

Side A tracks 1 & 5 recorded at Phil Turetskys Home Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 1, 1953
Side A tracks 2,3 & 4 recorded in Hollywood, CA, January 30, 1953
Side B recorded at The Haig, Hollywood, CA January 25, 1953.

Produced by Richard Brock

Musicians where as follows


After Chet came out of the Army in 1951 he hooked up with both Vido Musso and Stan Getz before he was famously chosen from scores of other top trumpet players by Charlie ‘The Bird’ Parker to play with him on a series of concerts down the West Coast.

The next year Chet joined The Gerry Mulligan Quartet and garnered a lot of attention with his improvised playing style and was a regular playing with with the quartet around the clubs in Los Angeles like the Tiffany and the Haig where the above LP was recorded.

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Out of interest @Bobthebuilder is there a book you would recommend to read re Chet’s life and music?

He is probably my favourite Jazz artist, recommend via this forum :grin:

I have just counted 17 Chet Baker albums in my collection so far.

Here is one of my favourites:

I assume from your OP that you have many more Chet albums in you’re collection. :exploding_head: :trumpet:


I am very much looking forward to this list you will create as I’m sure it will provide me with many more Chet recommendations for my collection.

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I listen to Chet Baker a lot - unique!

This double CD is a favourite, recorded in 1985, I suspect difficult to get nowadays?

Chet Baker (t)
Michael Graillier (p)
Massimo Moriconi (b)

Really love his later albums, search for ‘Chet Baker Trio’, the 'Steeplechase albums are all recommended


A beautiful record @Mr Dom not sure how many of Chet’s Steeplechase releases you have we’ll get to them all eventually such a great period for Chet fans.

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An excellent choice Ian a great line up, after looking for quite a few years I was lucky enough to find a vinyl copy so it will be appearing later.

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And @Ian , I have 4 albums from the Steeplechase label and love all of them.

I have a feeling this list of yours is going to cost me a lot £ :joy:

No problem though :+1:


If you have not already got/heard this one ?

Chet’s solo on ‘How Deep Is The Ocean’ is lovely !

Great cast =

Chet Baker (t)
Paul Desmond (s)
Jim Hall (g)
Bob James, Kenny Barron, Roland Hanna (p)
Ron Carter (b)
Tony Williams, Steve Gadd (d)


Have this already and agree a great album.
It’s already had several spins here. :+1:

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Chet Baker Quartet - Chet Baker Quartet Records Eight Cool Sides, Vogue Records 1954

A1 - Winter Wonderland - Written By – Bernard Smith

A2 - Russ Job - Written By – Russ Freeman

A3 - Easy To Love - Written By – Cole Porter

A4 - Batter Up - Written By – Russ Freeman

B1 - Isn’t It Romantic - Written By – Rodgers & Hart

B2 - Maid In Mexico - Written By – Russ Freeman

B3 - Imagination - Written By – Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke

B4 - This Time The Dream’s On Me - Written By – Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer

All tracks recorded in Los Angeles, CA July 24, 27, 29-30, 1953

Bass – Bob Whitlock (tracks: A1, B1, B2, B4), Carson-Smith (tracks: A2 to A4, B3)

Drums – Bobby White( tracks: A1, B1, B2, B4), Larry Bunker (tracks: A2 to A4, B3)
Piano – Russ Freeman


Chet Baker Quartet Records Eight Sides was originally released in the US as a self titled 10" called Chet Baker Quartet with the same 8 songs except for The Lamp is Low which on 'Eight Sides was replaced with Winter Wonderland.

Below is the original cover

I also have a Japanese reissue from 1983

Chet Baker Quartet featuring Russ Freeman - Cool Baker Vol 1. Pacific Jazz/King Records

This release features all of the tracks on the US 1953 original plus

Pavane For a Dead Princess - written by M Ravel

Long Ago and Far Away - written by Robin, Rainger

Long Ago and Far Away (Alternate Take)

No Ties - Written by Russ Freeman

Russ Job (Alt Take) Written by Russ Freeman

There is also a Cool Baker Vol 2 which I have yet to buy.


1954 was a big year for Chet he won both the Downbeat and Metronome readers polls for best trumpet player beating the likes of Miles Davis & Clifford Brown. Chet was also voted Best Jazz vocalist by Downbeats readers.

He also recorded his first vocal record
Chet Baker Sings on Pacific Jazz first released in 1954 on 10" backed by Russ Freeman on piano, Carson Smith on bass and Bob Neel on drums and of course produced of course by Richard Brock.
Recorded on February 15, 1954 at Capitol Studios in Hollywood

Chet’s vocals though really liked by the public where not as well received by the critics the LP was though a commercial success so much so that Richard Brock re released it in 1956 with extra tracks on 12". This is the version I have reissued in 2020 on the Blue Note, Tone Poet series.

The extra tracks on Side 2 of the reissue featured Russ Freeman on Piano, Jimmy Bond on Bass and both Pete Littman and Lawrence Marble on drums and where recorded on July 23 & 30, 1956 at the Forum Theatre, LA.

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Chet Baker Sings - Pacific Jazz 10" PJLP-11 (1954)

A1 But Not For Me
A2 Time After Time
A3 My Funny Valentine
A4 I Fall In Love Too Easily
B1 There Will Never Be Another You
B2 I Get Along Without You Very Well
B3 The Thrill Is Gone
B4 Look For The Silver Lining


Chet Baker Sings - Pacific Jazz 12" (1956) Reissue (2020) Tone Poet

That Old Feeling 2:59
It’s Always You 4:17
Like Someone In Love 3:26
My Ideal 4:19
I’ve Never Been In Love Before 4:25
My Buddy 3:16
But Not For Me 3:00
Time After Time 2:44
I Get Along Without You Very Well 2:54
My Funny Valentine 2:14
There Will Never Be Another You 2:55
The Thrill Is Gone 2:46
I Fall In Love Too Easily 3:16
Look For The Silver Lining 2:36


1955 was a very busy year for Chet and also a very tragic one.

I don’t want to sensationalise or glamourise Chet’s drug use I deleted an earlier post that mentioned it but where he is concerned I don’t believe you can separate the two, the negative impact it had just when crossover stardom awaited in this part of his career, the complete absence of any meaningful output during the middle of his career and the absolute driving force behind much of his later output recorded to fund hid addiction.

But before Chet’s ill fated trip to Europe later in 1955 he recorded another part vocal LP for French label Barclay, Chet Baker Sings And Plays With Bud Shank, Russ Freeman And Strings was released on Pacific Jazz during 1955.

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Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings And Plays With Bud Shank, Russ Freeman And Strings, Pacific Jazz PJ1202 (1955)
I have the Blue Note/Tone Poet reissue (2023)

Track List

Let’s Get Lost
This Is Always
Long Ago And Far Away
Someone To Watch Over Me
Just Friends
I Wish I Knew
You Don’t Know What Love Is
Grey December
I Remember You

Recorded with

Recorded on February 28 and March 7, 1955 in Capitol Studios, 5515 Melrose (Hollywood).