Chet Baker Big Band
01. A Foggy Day 3:25
02. Mythe 4:20
03. Worrying The Life Out Of Me 5:20
04. Chet 3:52
05. Not Too Slow 3:49
06. Phil's Blues 4:34
07. Darn That Dream 3:26
08. Dinah 4:35
09. V-Line 4:08
10. Tenderly 3:22
1993 CD Release:
01. Tenderly 4:04
02. A Foggy Day 3:29
03. Darn That Dream 3:31
04. Mythe 4:26
05. Chet 4:11
06. Not Too Slow 3:53
07. Phil's Blues 4:38
08. Dinah 4:41
09. V-Line 3:25
10. Worrying The Life Out Of Me 5:23
11. Little Man You've Had A Busy Day 4:45
12. Dot's Groovy 4:35
13. Stella By Starlight 3:55
14. Tommyhawk 3:42
15. I'm Glad There Is You 3:15
16. The Half Dozens 4:10
Alto Saxophone – Art Pepper (tracks: 1 to 4)
Alto Saxophone – Bud Shank (tracks: 1 to 4)
Alto Saxophone – Fred Waters (tracks: 5 to 10)
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Phil Urso (tracks: 5 to 10)
Baritone Saxophone – Bill Hood (tracks: 5 to 10)
Baritone Saxophone – Bud Shank (tracks: 11 to 16)
Bass – Carson Smith (tracks: 11 to 16)
Bass – Jimmy Bond (tracks: 1 to 10)
Drums – James McLean (tracks: 10)
Drums – Lawrence Marable (tracks: 1 to 4)
Drums – Peter Littman (tracks: 5 to 9)
Drums – Shelly Manne (tracks: 11 to 16)
Piano – Bobby Timmons (tracks: 1 to 10)
Piano – Russ Freeman (tracks: 11 to 16)
Tenor Saxophone – Bill Perkins (tracks: 1 to 4)
Tenor Saxophone – Bob Graf (tracks: 5 to 10)
Tenor Saxophone – Phil Urso (tracks: 1 to 4)
Trombone – Bob Burgess (tracks: 5 to 10)
Trombone – Frank Rosolino (tracks: 1 to 4)
Trumpet – Chet Baker, Conte Candoli (tracks: 1 to 4)
Trumpet – Norman Raye (tracks: 1 to 4)
Valve Trombone – Bob Brookmeyer (tracks: 11 to 16)
Recorded in Los Angeles on October 26 (#1-4) and 18 (#5-10), 1956 and September 9 (#12, 14, 16) and 15 (#11, 13, 15), 1954.
All selections are mono
#1-10 originally issued on Pacific Jazz PJ 1229, #11-16 originally issued on Pacific Jazz (10" LP) LP 15.
Although this album is titled “Chet Baker Big Band” the groups are only of moderate size, eleven and nine piece aggregations though this does not detract from the quality of the music The bonus tracks consist of two Octets and one sextet which are welcome and give a further dimension to the album.
Chet Baker is a much more forceful player on these sides than he was with his own Quartet and the Gerry Mulligan Quartet where is playing was more reflective and slightly hesitant.
The album opens with a sprightly arrangement by Jimmy Heath of the standard “A Foggy Day” which has some hard hitting trumpet by Chet and pithy contributions by Phil Urso on tenor and Bobby Timmons at the piano, a fine start to the album.
There is a glorious arrangement by Phil Urso of the old Miff Mole tune “Worryin’ the Life Out of Me” which gets to the heart of the song and features the leader in marvellous form and has short but telling contributions from the arranger on tenor and Bobby Timmons on piano but it is Chet who shines.
Phil Urso’s arrangement of his own composition “Phil’s Blues” is a swinger and apart from himself on tenor Bud Shank’s booting baritone adds to the proceedings.
The ballad “Darn That Dream” a favourite of Baker’s is arranged by Jimmy Heath and Chet delivers with a tasteful solo, there is also some nice section work by the saxophones.
Apart from Chet’s hard hitting trumpet on the medium paced “Tenderly” it is Art Pepper’s alto which steals the show on Jimmy Heath’s splendid arrangement.
The six Sextet sides are a real bonus with some wonderful solos from Bud Shank on baritone, Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone and Russ Freeman on piano all driven along by the tasteful Shelly Manne on drums.
These six tracks consist of three originals and three standards, of the standards “Stella by Starlight” is the most interesting and apart from Chet there are interesting solos from Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer as well as a typical romping piano solo by Russ Freeman.
On the face of it “Little Man You’ve Had a Busy Day” is an unlikely source of material but it works surprisingly well with a good Bob Brookmeyer solo.
The three originals are written by Bill Holman, Johnny Mandel, and Jack Montrose, it is Bill Holman’s lively “The Half Dozens” which stands out with great solos by all the front line. Not far behind is Johnny Mandel’s “Tommyhawk” and it’s Russ Freeman’s stomping piano solo which stands out.
The four tracks recorded in Paris with French musicians do not have the same immediacy as the Sextet tracks but nevertheless have some good solos from Chet Baker.and are well worth inclusion on the album.
The whole album provides some fine music and Chet Baker is playing at the top of his form and is therefore highly recommended.
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