Chet Baker: '60s, '70s & '80s


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The last day of the year always feels exhilarating and melancholy. Exhilarating, because we're on the threshold of a new year fresh with promise and hope. Melancholy, because another year is sliding from the present to the past, becoming a memory rather than a real-time experience. It's a day of sighs.

The horn that sounds most to me like December 31st is Chet Baker's. It's innocent and melodic but there's enomrous sadness in there, too. Chet Baker died in 1988.

Here are five videos of Baker in the 1960s, '70s and '80s with that New Year's Eve day feel: 

Here's Chet Baker playing flugelhorn in Belgium in 1964, with saxophonist and flutist Jacques Pelzer, pianist Rene Urtreger, bassist Luigi Trussardi and drummer Franco Manzecchi...

Here's Baker playing trumpet on Softly As in a Morning Sunrise at the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 1979, backed by pianist Michel Graillier, vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid, bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse...

Here's Baker on trumpet with saxophonist Stan Getz at Stockholm's Södra Teatern in Sweden in February 1983, backed by pianist Jim McNeely, bassist George Mraz and drummer Victor Lewis...

Here's Chet Baker on trumpet with Elvis Costello on vocal singing You Don't Know What Love Is at Ronnie Scott's in London in 1986, backed by pianist Michael Graillier and bassist Riccardo Del Fra...

And here's Chet Baker on trumpet playing Four in Tokyo in 1987...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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