Together: The Complete Studio Recordings CD
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Together: The Complete Studio Recordings
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By the time the two men came together in 1977, Che Baker was prematurely aged by the hard life he'd lived in the underworld of narcotics. He was badly beaten by gangsters in 1968 and lost most of his teeth. He had to give up the trumpet for some time and worked as a petrol station attendant. The delightful Paul Desmond was a gifted and humorous man whose only apparent failing was his inability to stay in one place for more than one night because he believed that a jealous husband was pursuing him around the world to kill him while he was on tour. The tracks here were recorded at two sessions in 1974 and 1977: "You Can't Come Home Again" is Desmond's last ever recording. It's interesting to hear the two men responding so well to the disciplined settings provided for them by CTI, the original record company. Both play with poise and relaxation and each produces some of his best work. This is essentially a poignant album full of good improvising on imaginatively chosen themes ("Concierto de Aranjuez"!) and despite the tendency of Bob James's electronic piano to tinkle, it doesn't interfere. James is only on two tracks, being replaced on the other five by Kenny Barron and Roland Hanna. Anyone who has this album will play it often. --Steve Voce
Top customer reviews
Paul Desmond's slow and technically perfect alto make this disc worth buying for this alone, in fact I liked it so much that I also bought his "Feeling Blue" at the same time after listening to some sample tracks.
Worth buying if you like this type of jazz but I would also recommend either of these albums as background music for dinner parties.
This set is compiled from sessions in 1974, '75 & '77 with an excellent group of supporting musicians. The highlights, for me, are undoubtedly track 2 'You Can't Go Home Again' which is evocative of the jazz style featured in parts of the soundtrack of 'Blade Runner' and the fantastic arrangement of the first movement of Rodrigo's 'Concierto De Aranjuez'. This number left me wishing for more collaborative numbers of this quality but time was running out for Paul Desmond and sadly too Chet Baker's days were also numbered and apparently, they were never to record together again.
I hate giving this 4 stars when almost everything is 5 star quality and the two standout tracks are worth buying the Cd for.
What I especially loved was that it starts with the original Rodrigo, simple guitar, then moves through Miles Davis' adaptation via the trumpet in Sketches of Spain, and then creates its own sublime combination of elegaic sax or trumpet or piano or guitar floating free, but moved restlessly along with an underpinning urgent rhythm from bass and drums. The best.
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I have purchased several Chet albums over the years and whilst his singing voice is not strong it is quite unique and...Read more
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