Chet Baker / NDR Bigband

The Legacy, Vol. 1

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On first glance, this CD might be mistaken for the pair of Enja releases titled The Last Great Concert which took place April 28, 1988. A few of the songs are the same and in both cases Baker was accompanied by The German NDR Big Band, but this particular set is taken from a previously unreleased concert from five months earlier and should delight his followers. Although Baker's singing voice had greatly declined through the years, his trumpet playing experienced a renaissance starting in the late '70s and he is in fine form throughout this purely instrumental set, a rare opportunity for the trumpeter to be showcased with a big band. Altoist Herb Geller and pianist Walter Norris (two of Baker's old friends) have occasional solos but the focus is almost entirely on Baker's horn and he proves up to the task, particularly on songs such as "In Your Own Sweet Way," "All of You" and "Look for the Silver Lining."

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