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Salute Chet Baker

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Album Review

This tribute album is notable for several reasons. It marks the return of tenor saxophonist Phil Urso after a 16-year absence from the recording studio. Urso, who appeared on several of Chet Baker's best recordings during the '50s and '60s, salutes the late trumpeter with interpretations of songs often associated with him. Finally, this exciting release marks the debut of the Jazzed Media label. Although Urso had not recorded for a long stretch, it doesn't mean that he was not active as a player. Having just celebrated his 77th birthday prior to the sessions, he still packs a punch on his instrument, and blends very well with trumpeter Carl Saunders, though it was their first time playing together. Urso's lovely ballad "Halema," which was named after Baker's wife at the time of its initial recording, features great interplay between the two leaders. His snappy "Way to Go" swings mightily, and deserves upbeat lyrics to go along with it. The hard boppish "Jumpin' Off a Clef," the rhythmic "For Minors Only," "Baby Breeze," and the catchy "Mister B" (originally recorded under the title "Ristem B"), will all be familiar ground to those who already own the earlier versions recorded by Urso under Baker's leadership. Pianist Keith Waters, bassist Colin Gieg, and drummer Paul Romaine provide a solid foundation for the two horns, and also shine during their respective solos on this very rewarding CD.


Born: 02 August 1943 in Las Vegas, NV

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A superior bop trumpeter inspired by Don Fagerquist, Carl Saunders has long been one of the top jazz soloists based in Los Angeles, but has recorded far too infrequently to gain the fame he deserves. As a teenager, he played with Stan Kenton (1960) and his uncle Bobby Sherwood (Dave Pell is also an uncle). Saunders picked up experience touring with Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, Harry James, Buddy Rich, and Maynard Ferguson (1967), and played regularly in show bands in Las Vegas until moving to Los...
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Salute Chet Baker, Carl Saunders
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