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Chet Baker: Germany, 1956

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Chet Baker In March 1956, Chet Baker was touring in Germany when he was paired with French singer-guitarist Caterina Valente. For those of you unfamiliar with Valente, she would become a pop sensation in the '60s with her ability to record flawlessly in about a dozen languages.

In other words, Valente was a record company's dream, especially when a label wanted the same song in multiple languages for sale in those markets. 

Sadly, combining Baker with Valente in a Baden-Baden studio was a bit of a mismatch. What may have seemed smart on paper came off rather disjointed when the two tracks they recorded were finished—I'll Remember April and Everytime We Say Goodbye.

Baker, of course, was about lyricism and patience whereas Valente's intonation on this date lacked the proper warmth and care. And based on their facial expressions listening back in the photo at top, they seem to know it.

A big thanks to JazzWax reader Anthony Middleton in London for sending along the rare photo at top.

Here's I'll Remember April...



And here's Everytime We Say Goodbye...



JazzWax note: While we're in Europe with this post, be sure to pick up a copy of today's Wall Street Journal (or go here) to read my interview with legendary French rock star Johnny Hallyday.


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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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