Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chet Baker

"One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It's the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat". – Chet Baker

Jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker had fallen out from a Amsterdam hotel window on Friday the 13 of May 1988. He was 58.

Chet Baker was a cool cat and he is what James Dean always wanted to be. The flair for his trumpet coupled with his beautifully sad soft voice are seductive. Baker possesses charisma that is uniquely his own. He was a musical genius never had to work hard, music came to him like magic, never saved any money from any gigs for 40 years and what ever money he got he spent it on women and drugs, his talent and fame became his curse.  

Baker was born in Yale, Oklahoma, began his musical career  in San Francisco jazz clubs in the early 50’s. He played with many great jazz icon such as Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis. He became famous with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952. My funny valentine became the beginning of cool jazz classic and he made this song his own. Because of his good look, Baker appeared in a few low-budget movies, including Hell's Horizon and at the same time Chet recorded with many musicians in different countries in Europe. If not because of his fast women and hard drugs problems, he might have become even bigger star.
"Chet cons people, he has the ability to elicit sympathy - and it's all a big act". Baker left a lot of pain and heartbreak, his ex wife and  past girlfriends speak unkind of him, but you can also see their love for him in a documentary directed by Bruce Weber  Let’s Get Lost. Evident of Chet’s melancholic beauty, the film noir black and white style with shots of Baker sitting in the back of a convertible, he closed  his eyes and sat between two women and let his hair dancing in the wind. 

 “I Fall in Love Too Easily, I fall in love too fast ” - Baker lived the songs with a painful intensity, a jazz Elvis, a deep in dream junkie, a lover, a manipulator, the faded  pretty boy of the West Coast 'cool school', the glasses,  the voice, the cigarette, the gals, the trumpet ... Fallen out from a hotel window of Room 210. 

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