This disc includes music used in Let's Get Lost (1989), the Bruce Weber directed biopic centering on the tragic life and times of the West Coast cool jazz icon Chet Baker (trumpet/vocal). As was the case during many of Baker's final sessions, the artist performs with a makeshift combo of relative unknowns. Although Frank Strazzeri (piano), John Leftwich (bass), and Ralph Penland (drums) had presumably not played live with Baker outside of this project, Nicola Stilo (guitar), who contributes to "Zingaro" (aka "Portrait in Black & White") surfaced off and on with Baker throughout the '80s. Atypically, the combo is uniformly stunning throughout, sounding as if it had been backing him for much longer. With the exception of the aforementioned cut, the remainder of Chet Baker Sings and Plays from the Film "Let's Get Lost" (1989) boasts both a quartet and trio setting (sans Penland). Even though time and substances have given Baker the visage of a man twice his age, those inimitable pipes and velvet tone have worn surprisingly well. The track list is quite literally replete with something old, new, borrowed, and blue, well "Almost Blue," that is. He lifts the Elvis Costello composition, which is possibly a nod to their previous collaboration on Costello's Punch the Clock (1984), where Baker supplied a solo to "Shipbuilding." Among the old favorites are "Imagination," "You're My Thrill," "Every Time We Say Goodbye," "Daydream," and "Everything Happens to Me," each being entries from Baker's extensive repertoire. While "Moon & Sand," "My One and Only Love," "For Heaven Sake," "Zingaro," and "Daydream" are otherwise unavailable on sides issued prior to Baker's death. Ironically, the title song "Let's Get Lost" isn't on this album. While the tune was in the documentary, it is the familiar 1956 version. This leads to one of the primary criticisms that can be leveled at this collection -- it would have been well served by a supplementary volume of vintage Baker featured in the movie, although presumably licensing prohibited such.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer