Chet Baker
The Best of Chet Baker Sings


4.5
superb

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (31 Reviews)
August 13th, 2011 | 14 replies | 5,525 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautiful tunes by a jazz man that are sure to melt your heart

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Chet Baker was a jazz singer and trumpeter whose career began in the 1950s and extended into the 80s. As much as he came to be known as one of the best jazz musicians of the 50s and 60s, he was renowned as well for his well-publicized drug habit and his status as a teen heartthrob. Though the untraditional way in which he incorporated his voice into his beats also alienated many traditional jazz fans, his talent was always undeniable.

Love and heartbreak are two very common motifs within Chet’s music and his voice carries the emotional weight of someone who has endured both in spades. In Chet’s voice you hear a big heart which has struggled with a lifetime of heartbreak but remains intrigued at the proposition of another lover. The gorgeous backing of a simple drum beat and piano along with a trumpet blaring with personality are all the accompaniment Chet needs. Transitioning from soft vocals to a straightforward trumpet is a hallmark of a Chet Baker recording, and his ability to parallel his own singing through brass is extraordinary.

“I Fall in Love Too Easily” is an immediate standout that has a bemoaning Chet softly opening up on his greatest insecurity. As always, the trumpet and piano only serve to propel the vulnerability you hear behind Chet as he sings, striking a special chord with those who feel the same way. And this is not the only time we hear a heartbroken Chet throwing himself out there. In quite similar circumstances, in “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” as much as he is trying to get over another heartbreak, we hear through the simple piano strokes and the tenderness of his words, that he is still hung up on this former lover.

However, he does manage to be upbeat once in a while, notably in “Look for the Silver Lining.” Singing cheerfully about all those good things that lie just beneath the surface, listeners are sure to bob their heads up and down happily, relieved that the pains of loves gone by aren’t dictating our mood for a while.

Unfortunately, a flaw in this album that can’t be ignored is a lack of variation. Nearly all follow a similar pattern, which at times makes getting through the 20 song album in one sitting rather difficult. But still, this belongs in any and all jazz collections.

4.3 / 5

My Heart should be well schooled
Cause I’ve been fooled in the past.
Still I fall in love too easily
I fall in love too fast




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Comments:Add a Comment 
aok
August 13th 2011



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

So I don't know too much about jazz or anything, but this needed a review so here it is.

To listen to while reading:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zrSoHgAAWo (I Fall in Love Too Easily)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02-8boTzMyM (Look For the Silver Lining)

vanderb0b
August 13th 2011



3473 Comments


Nice to see Chet get some recognition on here, he's a pretty great singer.

iFghtffyrdmns
August 13th 2011



7047 Comments


"he was renowned as well for his well-publicized drug habit and his status as a teen heartthrob."
Dude, I TOTALLY know the feeling.

Nice review Andy, concise and clear. The last time I listened to jazz was during studying for finals last year, and I remember waking up with my head on my desk like an hour later being pissed that the jazz music put me to sleep haha

aok
August 13th 2011



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks guys.

I couldn't study to jazz i don't think -- it sortof irks me a bit too much one way or another

Manic_
August 13th 2011



447 Comments


nice review, Chet's a boss.

liledman
August 13th 2011



3826 Comments


no mention of my funny valentine? its one of the 'definitive' versions!

i think what you need to remember is that these are all standards, hence the same song forms, not much variation etc. instead of saying 'he sings about these sad things...' you should maybe instead point out that he chooses a lot of the saddest standards, or does some of the most emotive performances of them.

this is very similar to a lot of the great female vocalists who were dominating the vocal jazz style, except he was a dude (leagues ahead of frank) and could take the trumpet solos also.

the reviews not bad just a little thin is all.

aok
August 13th 2011



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

'my funny valentine' never stuck out in my mind tbh. and of course i understand why there's not much
variation and it's not a major complaint (i gave the album a 9 out of 10 ..) i still had to mention
what swayed this away from being a classic - maybe i coulda done so a little better.

you should maybe instead point out that he chooses a lot of the saddest standards, or does some
of the most emotive performances of them.


i disagree here though. if i were to do that, i feel like i'd be dancing around the point and not be
specific about what attracted me to what i was listening to. if you could direct me in terms of more
jazz to listen to, i'd be much obliged since you do seem to know more about the stuff than i do

BananaSlamma
August 14th 2011



19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love me some Chet Baker, great to see a review for him.

liledman
August 14th 2011



3826 Comments


'my funny valentine' is probably his most famous recording, and when people mention the song, the usually think of this recording first, thats all im saying.

what i mean about the songs is you kind of make it sound like he wrote the lyrics and everything, and there is no mention of them being other peoples songs. i just think it would be better to point out how his versions sound in contrast to others.

for that, i would suggest just youtube any of those songs and listening to different peoples (vocalists or otherwise) versions. as far as other great vocal albums, check out sarah vaughan's self-titled, and nina simone's little girl blue.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2011



7140 Comments


Great review; well done sir. I have no criticism to make.

Also, your writing style reminds me of Sowing's (this seems to happen a lot lately).

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2011



15332 Comments


I guess I'm always on your mind

either that or I influenced all of sputnik

either that or I just have a generic writing style

or its just coincidence

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Tyrael
August 14th 2011



20737 Comments


I influenced all of sputnik

Yeah

aok
August 14th 2011



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

or its just coincidence


-_-

aok
December 20th 2011



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

maybe it's just that most christmas music sounds like worse versions of chet, but for some reason he's been in my head all day today even though i haven't spun him in months



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