on 6 October 2004
Siffting through Chet Baker material can be a minefiled, one album great the next badly recorded and performed(the latter being mostly due to Baker being intoxicated on his well documented junk addiction). More often than not though, one finds Baker playing as he should be remembered, the man pouring his soul down the horn for all to hear. The album sees Baker return to Standards after the man had heard one of his best friends had died after a tragic overdose. The music isn't flashy and never pretends to be pretentious, only, as, so often is heard about Baker - 'lyrical'. 'These Foolish Things' encapsulates the mood of the album where one can almost hear his heart breaking through beautiful melodic lines which he drifts out his horn like a crying whisper. This is definitely one of my most played albums of all time.
on 6 February 2006
This material, recorded in Paris for Barclay brefly after Dick Twardzik's death in 1955, hasn't received as much publicity as the recordings with Twardzik, but that doesn't mean it's bad. True, this session was recorded with a rhythm section that Baker wasn't familiar with, and doesn't sound as confident as the earlier session, but it's (in my very humble opinion) still better than much of the material recorded for Pacific Jazz, and it has just been reissued in the very competitively priced "Jazz in Paris" series, so this is well worth the money.