|CD-Review: 'Live in Tokyo'||by Leon Kerkstra|
CHET BAKER (1929) achieved fame in 1952 when he joint the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. His soft clear tone, sometimes restricted melodic span, immediately became hallmarks of West Coast cool jazz and were widely imitated. But his carreer has been interrupted by prison sentences, addictions and all kinds of other problems. However he did manage to make fantastic records again and again. Unfortunately, the major problem with Baker's recordings from the final ten years of his life is that he allowed the release of far too many concert tapes never really intended for posterity, but this one will suprise you. You'll find Baker in peak form less than a year before his fatal fall from the window of an Amsterdam hotel room (1988).
Baker's addiction to drugs, as well as those of many other addicted jazz musicians, turnt out to be very profitable to the jazz scene in Holland. This album features two magnificent Dutch artists, Hein van de Gein on bass and JOHN ENGELS on drums.
HEIN VAN DE GEYN is among the best dutch jazz artist. Besides his recordings with Baker, he played with Philipe Catherine, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hank Jones, Charlie Rouse, Tete Montoliu, and many others. John Engels is also a well known drummer who along with countless dutch artists, played with people like Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin and Ben Webster.
HAROLD DANKO, though highly acclaimed, isn't featured on to many albums. However, this album reveals some of his skills. A transcription of Danko's solo on 'Four' can be found at our Transcription series pages.
This setting forms the ideal rhythm section for Baker on this double cd album from Evidence (other labels released incomplete cds) . Nice arrangements, good solos, if you like chet baker you'll enjoy this one, I think it is one of his best albums ever.