Chet Baker

And His Quintet With Bobby Jaspar

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Chet Baker and His Quintet with Bobby Jaspar is basically an inaccurately titled compilation. Baker spent a great deal of time in Europe in late 1955 and through the first third of 1956, and recorded often. The music on this CD was compiled from a few different sessions recorded in Paris during November of 1955 and February of 1956; only the latter date contains Jaspar on tenor, along with René Urtreger on piano, with bassist Benoit Quersin and drummer Jean-Louis Viale. The earlier session features Baker leading an octet that includes bassist Jimmy Bond, a saxophone section, and a different rhythm section under the direction of Pierre Michelot. Sloppily curated compilations like this understandably drive collectors nuts, even when the music is terrific, as it is here. The credits list Baker on vocals as well as trumpet, though he only sings on a by then very familiar arrangement of "Everything Happens to Me," tacked on as a bonus cut. Other standouts include "Alone Together," "How About You?," "Once in a While," and the strutting, muscular blues "Exitus."

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