Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Chet Baker - 2004 - The Original Chet Baker & Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Complete Recordings

Chet Baker
2004
The Original Chet Baker & Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Complete Recordings


101. Bernie's Tune 2:50
102. Lullaby Of The Leaves 3:13
103. Uter Chaos #1 0:33
104. Line for Lyons 2:32
105. Carioca 2:25
106. My Funny Valentine 2:55
107. Bark for Barksdale 3:13
108. Uter Chaos #2 0:20
109. Nights at the Turntable 2:52
110. Frenesi 3:08
111. Aren't You Glad You're You 2:50
112. Walkin' Shoes 3:10
113. Soft Shoe 2:37
114. Freeway 2:43
115. Limelight 2:45
116. The Lady is a Tramp 3:11
117. Turnstile 2:55
118. Moonlight In Vermont 4:05
119. Get Happy 2:31
120. S' Wonderful 3:33
121. Godchild 2:49
122. Dinah 2:55
123. She Didn't Say Yes She Didn't Say No 2:32

201. Godchild 3:55
202. Poinciana 3:50
203. Aren't You Glad You're You 3:57
204. Get Happy 5:50
205. Cherry 2:55
206. Carson City Stage 2:30
207. Makin' Whoopee 3:26
208. Motel
209. My Old Flame 3:11
210. All The Things You Are 5:05
211. Love Me Or Leave Me 2:54
212. Jeru 2:29
213. Swing House 2:54
214. Utter Chaos #2 0:30
215. Love Me Or Leave Me 2:47
216. Swing House 2:55

301. I May Be Wrong 2:50
302. I'm Beginning To See The Light 3:34
303. The Nearness Of You 2:50
304. Tea For Two 2:46
305. Darn That Dream 3:48
306. Varsity Drag 2:23
307. Speak Low 2:07
308. Half Nelson 3:01
309. Lady Bird 4:26
310. Love Me Or Leave Me 3:14
311. Swing House 3:24
312. Five Brothers 2:58
313. I Can't Get Started 4:01
314. My Funny Valentine 5:15
315. Ide's Side 4:21
316. Fun House 3:27
317. I May Be Wrong 2:57
318. I'm Begging To See The Light 3:06
319. Darn That Dream 3:20

401. Too Marvelous For Words 3:43
402. Lover Man 3:07
403. I'll Remember April 4:15
404. These Foolish Things 3:28
405. All The Things You Are 3:55
406. Bernie's Tune 3:31
407. Almost Like Being in Love 2:56
408. Sextet 2:59
409. Broadway 2:54
410. I Can't Believe You Are In Love With Me 3:06
411. Lady Be Good 2:30
412. Lady Be Good 1:53
413. A Ballad 2:52
414. Westwood Walk 2:34
415. Walkin' Shoes 3:36
416. Rocker 2:26
417. Takin' A Chance On Love 2:49
418. Flash 3:06
419. Simbah 3:00
420. Ontet 3:13

Alto Saxophone – Bud Shank (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)
Alto Saxophone – Lee Konitz (tracks: 4-1 to 4-12)
Baritone Saxophone – Don Davidson (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)
Baritone Saxophone – Gerry Mulligan
Bass – Bobby Whitlock (tracks: 1-1 to 1-3, 1-9 to 1-14)
Bass – Carson Smith (tracks: 1-4 to 1-8, 1-15 to 1-18, 2-1 to 2-4, 3-1 to 4-9)
Bass – Joe Mondragon (tracks: 1-22 to 1-23, 4-10 to 4-12)
Bass – Red Mitchell (tracks: 1-19 to 1-21)
Drums – Chico Hamilton (tracks: 1-1 to 2-4, 4-13 to 4-16)
Drums – Larry Bunker (tracks: 2-5 to 2-16, 3-1 to 4-12, 4-14, 4-17 to 4-20)
Flugelhorn – John Graas (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)
Piano – Jimmy Rowles (tracks: 1-22 to 1-23)
Trumpet – Chet Baker (tracks: 1-1 to 1-18, 1-22 to 1-23, 2-1 to 2-16, 3-1 to 3-19)
Trumpet – Pete Candoli (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)
Tuba – Ray Siegel (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)
Valve Trombone – Bob Enevoldsen (tracks: 4-13 to 4-20)

#1-1 to 1-3: Recorded At Phil Tureksty' House, Loa Angeles, August 16, 1952.
#1-4 to 1-8: Recorded At Black Hawk Club, San Francisco, September 1952.
#1-9 to 1-14: Recorded At Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, October 15-16, 1952
#1-15 to 1-18: Recorded At Radio Recorders Studios, Hollywood, January 3, 1953
#1-19 to 1-21: Recorded At Phil Tureksty' House, Loa Angeles, June 10, 1952.
#1-22 to 1-23: Recorded At Phil Tureksty' House, Loa Angeles, July 9, 1952.
#2-1 to 2-4: Recorded At The Haig, Los Angeles, prob. early January 1953
#2-5 to 2-8: Recorded At Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, February 24, 1953
#2-9 to 2-16: Recorded At Radio Recorder, Los Angeles, April 27, 1953
#3-1 to 3-5, 3-17 to 3-19: Recorded At Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, April 29 and/or 30, 1953
#3-6 to 3-11: Recorded At Los Angeles, May 7, 1953
#3-12 to 3-16: Recorded At The Haig, Los Angeles, May 20, 1953
#4-1 to 4-6: Recorded At The Haig, Los Angeles, prob. Late January 1953
#4-7 to 4-9: Recorded Unknown Studio,Los Angeles, Late January 1953
#4-10 to 4-12: Recorded At Phil Tureskty's House,Los Angeles, Late January, 1953
#4-13 to 4-16: Recorded At the Capitol Studios, Hollywood, January 29, 1953
#4-13 to 4-16: Recorded At the Capitol Studios, Hollywood, January 31, 1953

Originally issued on Pacific Jazz, Fantasy and Gene Norman Presents labels.


A few years ago, I had this debate with a seller at a record fair. I mentioned that I was looking for Chet Baker records, whereupon he wanted to sell me a Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker 10" at a ridiculously high price, insisting that these were some of Baker's best recordings. I, however, was looking for Baker records from the 1980s, insisting that those were his best recordings. "Best recordings?" the seller sneered, "he couldn't even breathe properly anymore in the 1980s".

The point being that if you like pre-1955 Chet Baker, you'll most probably not like any of his later recordings. Pre-1955 Chet Baker is prime "cool" jazz, white, mathematical West Coast jazz, some swing, lots of brain, and no guts. Oddly enough, as it is not just the time of his highest popularity in the USA, but also the period most readily available on compact disc (thanks to EMI owning the rights to the Pacific Jazz catalogue), the first three years of his career have -- very unjustly -- become almost synonymous with Baker's entire oeuvre.

This very aggressively priced and impeccably mastered 4-CD set contains the complete recordings of Gerry Mulligan with Chet Baker from the early 1950s; even though it says "quartet" on the box,  it not just contains all the recordings of the famous piano-less quartet, but also a few live sessions including larger ensembles.

Quite frankly, I much prefer Baker's recordings post-1956, after he had discovered hard bop during his extended stay in Europe and abandoned cool jazz. Mulligans's compositions are not without their merit, but rather than feeling the music, he seems to be constantly solving mathematical equations while playing his tunes. Sometimes the much more simplistic and straightforward Baker sounds almost refreshing compared to Mulligan's convoluted, but ultimately heartless runs, but even Baker was still pretty far from his later emotionality. Only a few exceptions, such as the heartfelt first recording of "My Funny Valentine" (still one of the very best) offer a glimpse at what Baker and Mulligan would have been capable of had their music been less brainy.

Also included in this collection, and very refreshing in comparison, is a session with Lee Konitz also released as Konitz Meets Mulligan. Despite being something of a cool jazzer himself, Konitz sounds far more natural and less mathematic than Mulligan, and provides some much-needed fresh air.

This is of course a vital collection for fans of cool jazz. If you're into early Gerry Mulligan, there's no cheaper, more complete set of his recordings than this. However, if you are more into late Chet Baker as I am, you may be able to acknowledge this collection for its historical value, but you may find it somewhat lacking, and unless you are a completist, a "Best of Mulligan/Baker" compilation might also be sufficient.

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