Chet Baker

Lovely record

In 1956 Chet recorded another Chet Baker Quartet album for Pacific Jazz called
Quartet: Russ Freeman Chet Baker. The Quartet featured an excellent rhythm section of Shelley Manne and Leroy Vinnegar and features an excellent version of Billy Strayhorn’s Jazz standard Lush Life that John Coltrane would make famous a year later on an album of the same name.

I have a very good Spanish mono reissue from 1985 which is more than adequate.


Chet Baker Quartet - Quartet: Russ Freeman Chet Baker, Pacific Jazz 1232 (1985)


A1 Love Nest 4:14
A2 Fan Tan 5:37
A3 Summer Sketch 4:34
A4 An Afternoon At Home 5:08
B1 Say When 5:00
B2 Lush Life 4:43
B3 Amblin 7:12
B4 Hugo Hurwhey 4:23

Bass – Leroy Vinnegar
Drums – Shelly Manne
Piano – Russ Freeman
Trumpet – Chet Baker

Recorded, Nov 6th, 1956 Los Angeles CA

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Also in 1956 when Chet was 27 he married for the 2nd time to the 20 year old Halema Ali who he’d known just a month Phil Urso wrote a song for her called Helema that appeared on
Chet Baker and Crew recorded at the Forum Theatre, LA on the 24th, 25th and 31’st July with a band including Pete Littmann, Jimmy Bond, Bobby Timmons, Phil Urso and Bill Loughborough.

I have a few versions of this record a Pure Pleasure double album from 2010 remastered by Kevin Grey and pressed at Pallas that contained the bonus tracks from the session previously released only on CD and I also have two versions of the Boblicity release from the 1980’s titled Cools Out by The Chet Baker Quintet the original and a Promo/Test Pressing.

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Chet Baker & Crew - Chet Baker & Crew, Pure Pleasure Analogue/Pacific Jazz PPAN PJ 1224 (2010)

A1. To Mickey’s Memory - Written-By – Harvey Leonard 3:46

A2. Slightly Above Moderate - Written-By 6:57

A3. Halema - Written-By – Phil Urso 4:34

A4. Revelation - Written-By – Gerry Mulligan 3:57

B1. Something For Liza - Written-By – Al Cohn 4:03

B2|. ucius Lu - Written-By – Phil Urso 5:34

B3. Worrying The Life Out Of Me - Written-By – Frank Signorelli 3:00

B4. Medium Rock -Written-By – Bob Zieff 5:30

C1. To Mickey’s Memory (Alternate Take) - Written-By – Harvey Leonard 5:25

C2. Jumpin’ Off A Clef - Written-By – Al Haig 4:55

C3. Chippyin’ - Written-By – Harvey Leonard 3:20

D1. Pawnee Junction - Written-By – Bill Loughbrough. 4:01

D2 Music To Dance By - Written-By – Al Cohn|. 4:35

D3. Line For Lyons - Written-By –[Bill Loughbrough, Gerry Mulligan 2:48

Recorded at the Forum Theatre in Los Angeles on July 24, 25 & 31, 1956.


Chet Baker Quintet - Cools Out, Boplicity (1986), Promo/Test Pressing

A1. The Route - Written-By – Chet Baker

A2. Lucius Lou - Written-By – Phil Urso

A3. Pawnee Junction - Written-By – Bill Loughborough

B1. Extra Mild - Written-By – Phil Urso

B2. Halema - Written-By – Phil Urso

B3 Jumpin’ Off A Cliff - Written-By – Al Haig


I have this album and like it very much. It’s already had many spins and will get more. :+1:

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Another favourite of mine. If memory serves me right it was @Skeptikal that recommended it.

Nice! :+1:

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1957 saw Chet and Gerry Mulligan release another record together The Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Reunion with Chet Baker on Pacific Jazz. Some critics lamented that the fire from the earlier original
Baker-Mulligan recordings had gone out but I really rate Reunion … especially Stardust which is one of my favourite from them.

I have the 1959 reissue on Vogue which is a an excellent pressing.

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The Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Reunion with Chet baker, (Mono) Vogue RecordsLAE 12185 (1959)


A1 Reunion 4:03
A2 When Your Lover Has Gone 5:06
A3 Stardust 4:41
A4 My Heart Belongs To Daddy 4:12
B1 Jersey Bounce 4:24
B2 Surrey With The Fringe On Top 4:39
B3 Travellin´ Light 3:40
B4 Ornithology 5:09

Baritone Saxophone – Gerry Mulligan
Bass – Henry Grimes
Drums – Dave Bailey
Trumpet – Chet Baker

Recorded in New York City, Dec. 3rd, 11th & 17th, 1957

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In 1958 just after signing a deal with Riverside Records Chet was arrested twice on Drugs charges the first resulted in a stay at Lexington Federal Hospital a detox centre that had seen the likes of Sammy Davis, Sonny Rollins, Tadd Dameron, Jackie McLean, Sam Rivers, Sonny Stitt, Peter Littman, Elvin Jones, Ray Charles and Lee Morgan amongst others take the Lexington cure.

It didn’t work for Chet though and not long after a second arrest saw him sentenced to four months in Rikers Island alongside his former dealer from Harlem Donald ‘Tony the Greek’ Frankos who in his book ‘Contract Killer’ described the soundtrack of Rikers Island as “the screams of inmates being knifed, beaten, or killed.”

Orin Keepnews founder of Riverside Records who Produced those four Legendary Chet Baker albums
said later of Chet at this time, “Forget any concept of Chet Baker as a romantic figure, He was an evil junkie and a whining, devious young man.”

He accused Chet of being involved in a burglary at Riverside Records and describes trying to undermine him on those four Riverside records, “I thought, cover him over cosmetically with the best supporting cast, try to bury him,” he stated in James Gavin’s 2002 book on Chet ‘Deep in a Dream’.

It backfired as in my opinion that supporting cast of Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Kenny Burrell, Pepper Adams and ‘Philly’ Joe Jones elevated Chet to one of the highest points of his career.

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Vinyl - another goody !?

Chet Baker (t) (voc)
Phil Markowitz (p)
Scott Lee (b)
Jeff Brilinger (d)


I am new to the world of Chet Baker. I have a JVC XRCD. It is spectacular.


Available on Qobuz

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Another excellent record Ian.

Chet’s Riverside tenure lasted for four albums recorded in little under a year between August 1958 and July 1959 for me personally they are a high point the better production, recording and the quality of the musicians really brought out the best in Chet and should have seen an upsurge in his career unfortunately though his personal and private life where starting to nose dive.

As I said before Orrin Keepnews wasn’t Chet’s biggest fan it was his partner in Riverside Records
Bill Grauer who championed and believed in Chet’s talent. The first recording Chet Baker Sings - It Could Happen To You produced by Grauer has Chet both singing and playing and on some choosing to ‘scat’ his solos rather than play them it is regarded by many as some of his best work as a vocalist. Chet is backed by Kenny Drew on piano, Sam Jones & George Morrow on bass and Philly Joe Jones and Dannie Richmond on drums it was released on November 3rd 1958.

I have the excellent Mono release by Craft Records from 2019 which I prefer to the stereo version released both are remastered by Kevin Grey and pressed at RTI.


Chet Baker Sings – It Could Happen To You, Craft/Riverside Mono (2019)

A1. Do It The Hard Way - Written-By – Rodgers-Hart

A2. I’m Old Fashioned - Written-By – Jerome Kern/ Johnny-Mercer

A3. You’re Driving Me Crazy - Written-By – Walter Donaldson

A4. It Could Happen To You - Written-By – Jimmy-Van-Heusen-And-Johnny-Burke

A5. My Heart Stood Still - Written-By – Rodgers-Hart

B1. The More I See You - Written-By – Harry-Warren-Mack-Gordon

B2. Everything Happens To Me - Written-By – Matt-Dennis-Tom-Adair

B3. Dancing On The Ceiling - Written-By – Rodgers-Hart

B4. How Long Has This Been Going On? - Written-By – Gershwin-Gershwin

B5. Old Devil Moon - Written-By Lane Harburg

Bass – George Morrow (tracks: A1, A2, A5, B2, B3), Sam Jones (tracks: A3, A4, B1, B4, B5)
Drums – Philly-Joe-Jones (tracks: A1, A2, A5 to B3, B5), Dannie Richmond (tracks: A3, A4, B4)
Piano – Kenny Drew
Producer – Bill Grauer
Trumpet, Vocals – Chet Baker

Recorded August, 1958 Reeves Sound Studios, New York City.