Chet Baker recorded at every opportunity during the last decade or so of his tragic life, with widely varying results due to his drug addiction. But this surprising duo session with pianist Paul Bley is one of his better efforts from this period, focusing primarily on standard ballads by top composers. Bley's playing in the mid-'80s usually was freer in nature, but he willingly plays more mainstream backing for the trumpeter. Baker's tone adds to the poignant air in a rather deliberate interpretation of "If I Should Lose You," with Bley playing beautiful, sparse chords behind him. The duo gels nicely in a midtempo setting of Sonny Rollins' "Pent-Up House," while Baker's "Skidadidlin'" is a low key, bluesy number. Baker sings "You Go to My Head" in a thoughtful manner. First issued on LP, the CD edition added a warm extended performance of Richard Rodgers' "Little Girl Blue" that obviously was omitted at first only due to time restrictions.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden