Monday, October 31, 2011

Chet Baker - Grey December (1953) [Remastered 1992]

Chet Baker - Grey December (1953) [Remastered 1992]
EAC rip | FLAC + CUE + LOG | Full Scans | FileSonic/FileServe
Genre ~ Cool, West Coast Jazz, Vocal Jazz | Label ~ Pacific Jazz

Two stray Chet Baker 10" titles and a few associated alternate takes are gathered on this single disc. Grey December is one of the better CD reissues featuring Baker's early-'50s recordings on Pacific Jazz, the purveyors of West Coast cool. The instrumental sides feature two septet sessions in December of 1953 and the vocal sextet session dates to February of 1955 -- all three of which feature Baker and pianist Russ Freeman. Rather than present these sides chronologically, the four vocal tracks precede the decidedly lengthier 1953 instrumental sessions -- a programming decision that works remarkably well. Enthusiasts of Baker's laid-back vocals should consider the February 1955 sessions as essential. The combination of Bud Shank's ethereal flute work when married to Baker's muted vocals create an intense burst of melancholy. The uneven tempo and minor chord progressions featured on the title track as well as "I Wish I Knew" are irresistible in their appeal to fans of the genre. Baker's soft-toned trumpet solos match his vocals in spirit and passion. Even the hapless optimism of "Someone to Watch Over Me" is tinged in noir pathos. A much more traditional setting for Baker can be heard on the septet sides. Although the instinctual interaction between Baker and Freeman shines throughout, "Headline," "Moonlight Becomes You," and the up-tempo swinger "A Dandy Line" best exemplify everything positive about that musical relationship. The pair intertwine their melodies so closely and carefully it can be difficult to separate them. On the CD pressing, alternate takes of "Bockhanal," "A Dandy Line," "Little Old Lady," "Moonlight Becomes You," and "Goodbye" are also included. ~ AllMusic


01. Grey December
02. I Wish I Knew
03. Someone To Watch Over Me
04. This Is Always
05. Headline
06. Ergo
07. Bockhanal
08. Bockhanal (Alternate Take)
09. A Dandy Line
10. A Dandy Line ( Alternate Take)
11. Pro Defunctus
12. Little Old Lady
13. Little Old Lady (Alternate Take)
14. Moonlight Becomes You
15. Moonlight Becomes You (Alternate Take)
16. Goodbye
17. Goodbye (Alternate Take)

Thanks to the original uploader!