Easton Davy on Chet Baker

Quote: “What a guy, what a fool am I, to think my breaking heart could kid the moon

Easton Davy on Chet Baker

“Chet Baker represents the California Cool Jazz scene of the fifties, West Coast jazz. It is similar with Dave Brubeck, I am more an ‘East Coast person’, but I do realize that his musicianship was great and I respect that.” 

Chet had a special personality. Everyone who has ever met him tells his or her own story, because something always happened when you were out with Chet. “He was bad, he was trouble and he was beautiful”, is one of the many quotes about him in Bruce Weber's documentary Let's Get Lost. His colleagues- and fans- had a lot of respect for him. According to several sources it was Charlie Bird Parker <<Internal link>> that after playing with young Chet, 'warned' Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, by saying that there was a new white kid in town that would give them trouble. But mostly they had to keep an eye on this new cat, because he was following his own voice and creating his own style.

Chet Baker was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist, born on December 23, 1929, in Yale, Oklahoma, and raised in California. He is best known for his distinctive trumpet playing, as well as his soft, intimate singing style. Baker's career began in the 1950s, and he quickly gained fame as a leading figure in the West Coast jazz scene.

Baker's trumpet playing was characterized by a lyrical and melodic approach, often marked by a light, airy tone. He became known for his smooth, cool jazz style, which contrasted with the more intense and fiery playing of many of his contemporaries. Baker's vocal style, too, was understated and intimate, earning him a dedicated fan base.

Throughout his career, Baker recorded numerous albums both as a bandleader and a sideman, collaborating with renowned jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, and Stan Getz. Some of his notable recordings include the albums "Chet Baker Sings," "Chet Baker in New York," and "It Could Happen to You."

Baker's life was marked by personal struggles, including issues with drugs and legal troubles, which affected his career at various points. Despite these challenges, he continued to perform and record music. He tragically passed away on May 13, 1988, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the age of 58.

Chet Baker's legacy lives on through his recordings, which continue to be celebrated by jazz enthusiasts around the world. His contributions to the cool jazz movement and his influence on subsequent generations of musicians make him an enduring figure in the history of jazz music.