Chet Baker: Let's Get Lost

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The year was 1988. Most people were still buying LPs though CDs were starting to eat up more and more space in record stores. Jazz sections were fairly thin on older records from the '50s. Most record companies were struggling to make money by issuing new releases, and CD catalogues were thin. Though the analog-to-digital conversion process hadn't kicked into high gear yet, CDs clearly were the future. Into the digital dawn came Let's Get Lost—a black-and-white documentary on Chet Baker by photographer Bruce Weber. Everyone who saw it was affected by the humid portrayal of the romantic but tortured trumpeter. Suddenly, a generation of young East Coast fans new to the music were exposed to West Coast jazz and all of its sad charms. Not long after the movie came out, Baker CDs came rushing into print.

If you've never seen Let's Get Lost, here's your chance. It's easy to forget how influential the film was and how it re-ignited interest in Los Angeles jazz in the '50s...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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