Chet BAKER – Chet Baker And Crew 1956

Chet BAKER – Chet Baker And Crew 1956
2003 Issue.7243 5 82671 2 9

Jazz

Recorded during a marathon session in late July 1956 after Chet returned from Paris, this is definitely the weakest of Chet’s post-Paris albums for Pacific Jazz. While his playing is pretty much flawless, there is no real sense of direction here, and the spark that is there all through Quartet: Russ Freeman and Chet Baker or during the sessions with Art Pepper (recorded four and three months later respectively) is mysteriously absent. It’s good technically but just not really interesting musically.
**
The numbers heard on Chet Baker & Crew were among a prolific flurry of recordings Baker was involved in during the last week of July 1956 — fresh from an extended European stay. Sessions were held every day from the 23rd through the 31st, which resulted in such classic titles as The Route, Chet Baker Sings, and Chet Baker Quintet at the Forum — which is also available under the title Young Chet — as well as Chet Baker & Crew. The crew on these sides includes Phil Urso (tenor sax), Bobby Timmons (piano), Jimmy Bond (bass), Peter Littman (drums), and of course Baker (trumpet/vocals). Joining the combo on both the original as well as the alternate take of “To Mickey’s Memory” and “Pawnee Junction” is Bill Loughbrough (chromatic tympani). His unmistakable percussive accents and tuned drum solos give these West Coast bop tracks uniquely Polynesian intonations. The band members take full advantage of their individual roles and abilities as soloists to really stretch out on “Slightly Above Moderate” and the Urso-credited composition “Halema” — named after Baker’s wife. The chemistry of cool that flows between Urso and Baker is perhaps at its finest during the seamless exchange heard on “Worryin’ the Life Out of Me.” Timmons also boasts notable contributions throughout. His playful and scampering style dresses up the bluesy “Lucius Lu” and “Line for Lyons,” among others. The latter is also notable as it contains the sole Baker vocal on this set. Baker enthusiasts seeking companion tracks featuring the same lineup should likewise obtain the 1995 CD release Young Chet. Among the contents is the frenetic rendering of “Night on Bop Mountain.” [The 1993 CD reissue of Chet Baker & Crew increases the original eight-song Pacific Jazz collection to include all 14 tracks completed during three sessions in late July 1956 at the Forum Theater in Los Angeles.]
By Lindsay Planer. AMG.
**
Bass- Jimmy Bond
Drums- Peter Littman
Piano- Bobby Timmons
Saxophone [Tenor]- Phil Urso
Timpani [Chromatic]- Bill Loughbrough (tracks: 1, 9, 12)
Trumpet- Chet Baker
Vocals- Chet Baker (tracks: 14)
Notes
Recorded at the Forum Theater in Los Angeles on July 24, 25 and 31, 1956
#1-8 originally issued on Pacific Jazz PJ 1224/ST 1004
#10 & 11 originally issued on Jazz West Coast 508
#12 & 13 originally issued on Crown CST 7317
#9 & 14 previously unissued
**
01. To Mickey’s Memory 5:15
02. Slightly Above Moderate 7:01
03. Halema 3:52
04. Revelation 4:00
05. Something For Liza 4:07
06. Lucius Lu 5:37
07. Worryin’ The Life Out Of Me 3:01
08. Medium Rock 5:32
09. To Mickey’s Memory (alt. take) 5:26
10. Jumpin’ Off A Clef (bonus track) 4:57
11. Chippyin’ (bonus track) 3:22
12. Pawnee Junction (bonus track) 4:02
13. Music To Dance By (bonus track) 4:36
14. Line For Lyons (previously unreleased, vocal version, bonus track) 2:48
**

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