Chet Baker

A Jazz Hour with Chet Baker: Stella by Starlight

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This is one of the more frustrating types of budget anthologies, since Chet Baker is featured with no fewer than four separate lineups with no liner notes or recording dates, though the material seems likely to be from concerts taped during the late '70s or early '80s. Baker is in good form, however, and his various accompanists are very supportive. A brisk workout of Miles Davis' "Milestones," with an all-European rhythm section (pianist Amadeo Tommasi, bassist Benoit Quersin, and drummer Daniel Humair) getting things off to a promising start. The bulk of the songs find Baker accompanied by alto saxophonist Bob Mover, bassist Larry Ridley, and drummer David Lee. The highlights of this group include a long workout of "Stella by Starlight" and "Witchcraft." Baker also sings as well on "Deep in a Dream" (with a pianoless European trio which spotlights flautist Jacques Peltzer). A quartet recording of"Once Upon a Summertime," with pianist Phil Markowitz, is listed as the eighth and final track, but it is missing from the disc itself. While this CD is far from the most important CD in Chet Baker's large discography, it is still worth picking up by his fans.

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