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  • Chet Baker

    Chet Baker is a jazz trumpeter and vocalist who first began performing in army bands and was subsequently discharged to become a professional musician. After playing with Vido Musso and then with Stan Getz in the early ’50s, Baker was chosen to play a series of West Coast dates with the renowned saxophonist Charlie Parker in 1952. The rest, as they say, was history. With the famed piano-less Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Baker recorded a hit version of “My Funny Valentine” that has become his signature song. After this quartet disbanded, Baker formed his own with Russ Freeman on piano, Red Mitchell on bass, and Bobby White on drums. Then in 1954 came Chet Baker Sings, an album that established Baker as a vocalist. Fronting combos throughout the ‘50s, both singing and playing trumpet, Baker became an icon of West Coast “cool jazz.” Though his heroin addiction would eventually overshadow his career, Baker’s musical output from the ’50s is outstanding on vinyl and his life worthy of many a documentary.

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