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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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CHET BAKER

It Could Happen to You

Riverside RLP 1120

 

 


1. Do It the Hard Way
2. I'm Old Fashioned
3. You're Driving Me Crazy
4. It Could Happen to You
5. My Heart Stood Still
6. The More I See You
7. Everything Happens to Me
8. Dancing on the Ceiling
9. How Long Has This Been Going On
10. Old Devil Moon
Bonus Tracks
1. While My Lady Sleeps
2. You Make Me Feel So Young
3. The More I See You (take 8)
4. Everything Happens to Me (take 2)

Chet Baker - Vocals, trumpet
Kenny Drew - Piano
George Morrow - Bass (1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 14)
Sam Jones - Bass (other tracks)
Philly Joe Jones - Drums, replaced by Dannie Richmond (tracks 3, 4, 9)

This album was originally recorded in NYC in August 1958.

This re-issue after 24-bit re-mastering was released in 2010.

The album benefits from the original sleeve notes by Orrin Keepnews and the re-issue version by Doug Ramsey.

If ever there was a good reason for anyone to stay away from narcotics, Chet Baker is its epitome. He was a young man who had everything: good looks and an amazing natural musical ability as both trumpet player and singer, as this record amply demonstrates. Unfortunately narcotics turned him into an ugly shambling wreck, who at the end of his career rarely completed an engagement.

Fortunately this record finds him in good voice and playing really nice trumpet in his immediately identifiable and frequently-copied style. The tune selection is excellent, Orrin Keepnews was wrong about Do it The Hard Way becoming a more frequently-played tune, but I know what he meant. There are many Rodgers & Hart tunes that are rarely played, but if you listen to them, they are on a par with the ones that are.

The rhythm section deliver first-class accompaniment throughout, Kenny Drew is outstanding in this role, but also as a soloist. Philly Joe Jones had a reputation as a heavy drummer, but the good taste he exhibits here shows just how talented a musician he was.

In his life Chet was unable to stay the course but, when you listen to the beautiful music he made here, there is much in his short life to celebrate.

Don Mather



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