Chet Baker

When Sunny Gets Blue

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If proof is ever needed that there are too many Chet Baker albums around, this album can serve as evidence. Baker is caught on an off day; his playing during the first chorus of the opening "Long Ago And Far Away" is so flawed that one wonders why the musicians did not stop and try a second version. Chet's singing was always an acquired taste; check out his melody statement on "Isn't It Romantic," which is fortunately his only singing for the day. Has he ever sounded more out of tune? It is a pity, for the recording quality is good, the European rhythm section (pianist Butch Lacy, bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Jukkis Uotila) is fine, and the repertoire (five standards and Lacy's "Two in the Dew") is quite suitable. But there are far too many tentative and hesitant moments (along with a few clams) for this set to be on the level it should have been.

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