Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chet Baker

I've been meaning to post about this track since the beginning of time - The Chet Baker Quartet's recording of Tom Adair & Matt Dennis's extraordinarily self-pitying "Everything Happens To Me" from the Legendary Barclay Sessions recorded in Paris November 1955.

A month before this was recorded, Chet's pianist, Dick Twardzik died of a heroin overdose and the rest of the quartet went home traumatised to the US. Chet carried on recording with local musicians and cut some amazing tracks.

One of my favourite ever Jazz vocal recordings - the majority of the Paris recordings were instrumental but Chet didn't even pick up the trumpet for this one. It's quite probable tht he'd sold the instrument for smack, but wait until 2:27 and see if it gets you like it gets me when Chet "sings" the trumpet solo. If that's not musical perfection I don't know what is.

There are other things that I love about this take - the way Chet hits the notes so perfectly on the line "but now I just can't fool this head that thinks for me" around the 1:37 mark - the delicate syncopation at 2:12 where it sounds as if the pianist has stopped to light a cigarette, and of course the line "everytime I play an ace, my partner always trumps..." still makes me giggle like a schoolboy (I know it shouldn't..i'm trying to be a jazz afficionado here.)

Chet Baker Quartet - Everything Happens To Me

Not bad for a smack head eh? I'm still astounded that people with such heavy habits could record music as subtle and beautiful as this - up next on Frankosonic it's the Babyshambles..what?

Chet Baker In Paris (The Legendary Barclay Sessions 1955-1956) - Buy at Amazon


Anonymous said...

That is beautiful. Probably my favourite thing you've posted here. His voice actually sounds like a trumpet (in a good way) all the way through.

Did you know Mr Hudson & The Library covered this song on their album?

ally. said...

gorgeous - i saw the old wreck at ronnie scotts just before he died and it was magic.

dkeifer said...

That guy just always slays me. Maybe it's something about the way he's always totally committed to the lyric--even when it's fluff.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found this page after Googling the song title. There is a marvelous young musician named Curtis Calderon, who currently sings Second Voice and plays trumpet and flugelhorn with The Four Freshmen. He did an album in 2004 titled "Lost Soul: A Tribute to Chet Baker and uses this song as the closing track. Curtis totally nails Baker's inner spirit, both on horn and on vocal. His performances on this CD made me like this song enough to go research it, which is how I found this blog. I hope you don't mind me adding this comment.