Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing, yet insightful in its own way., 18 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir (Paperback)
Chet Baker's collection of memoirs was pulled together in the years shortly before his tragic death in Amsterdam; they comprise of a series of snapshots spanning his career.
In his attempt to outline his life and his experiences, Baker details the activities of his private life rather than his musical career, as this kind of autobiography should do- we are after his personal insights, not a summary of his achievements. He does so remarkably well, revealing a surprising amount of personal detail which should perhaps remain private, considering its implications for other people- but they do serve to offer his slant on what have become infamous situations.
Still, what is perhaps most telling when the book is taken as a whole is that Baker spent a large amount of his career under the influence of drugs. His hazy, near emotionless recollections betray his addiction; one can almost sense the numbing effect his habit must have had on his life. His writing seems disconnected, almost disjointed at times. The manner of his recollections almost invites the reader to question whether Baker could in fact remember any more.
a touching introduction by Baker's wife Carol reminds us of the life he left behind when he fell through that window, but despite this pained addition, the book is not a great read for those not interested in Jazz or Chet Baker; but it remains compelling for fans of this arch-trumpeter and the West Coast Style. Not for the jazz fan who desires only to know about the music, this book is for you if you are intrigued by or are simply curious about the man behind the persona. This is a gentle, if somewhat short, read.
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