Chet Baker Sextet – Chet Is Back! (180g, Mono, Speakers Corner)
42 years ago, Chet Baker, one of the tragic personalities of jazz who rubbed himself out and destroyed himself between cool and hot, drugs and alcohol, was a tireless traveller between jazz clubs in Europe. The local rhythm groups were not always of sufficient quality. Therefore it was consistent to bring together only the best from all countries for the production of a film music in Italy.
It was just as logical that the Italian subsidiary of the company RCA brought the musicians into the studio in January 1962. With one exception, the eight titles are so-called standards. Both wind players demand the highest concentration from the rhythmists and at the same time a relaxed handling of the harmonic patterns. The Italian Tommasi, the Belgian Thomas, the Frenchman Quersin and the Swiss Humair deliver this with a corresponding nonchalance. "These Foolish Things" and the only new composition "Ballata In Forma Di Blues" are the ballads that are interspersed, time to take a breath for the listener; around them pieces in fast tempi that prove the high standard Chet Baker and Bobby Jaspar move on. And then there's "Over The Rainbow", a theme linked to another tragic figure in music history, Judy Garland. The middle part is full of pure beauty that Chet elicits from his horn.
Fortunately, these photographs from Rome in 1962 do not have to be reserved for the collectors of the sixties. The re-release on LP offers the chance to listen to the excellent music and to look at the cover, as it is almost priceless in the original.