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Riverside Profiles: Chet Baker

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Album Review

Riverside Profiles collects tracks recorded by trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker in the late '50s. This was a troubled period personally for the iconic jazz artist as he had become addicted to heroin. Nonetheless, these are some of the most beautiful, melodic and improvisationally muscular of Baker's cuts and easily stand next to his legendary Pacific Jazz recordings. Included are such stand-out tracks as "Do It The Hard Way" off his 1958 album Chet Baker Sings It Could Happen To You, "September Song" off 1959's Chet and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" off Baker's highly-under appreciated 1958 session In New York. While most Baker aficionados will have or want to get the full albums, Riverside Profiles is still a great introduction to this part of Baker's career. Included is a bonus compilation disc of other artists in the Riverside Profiles series.

Customer Reviews


Baker and West Coast Smooth Jazz are best featured here making this one of my favorite Chet Baker collections. The other artists are a bonus, but it is Baker at the peak of his prowess that makes this a standout and must have. One of my favorite Baker albums. I never get tired listening to this one. I have listened to some tracks on this album over 150 times just this year alone. There is a reason Smooth was so popular. "Street of Dreams," "On the Street Where You Live," and "Almost like being in Love" are priceless. Nice version of September Song and some of his vocal work.


Born: December 23, 1929 in Yale, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Chet Baker was a primary exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-'50s. As a trumpeter, he had a generally restrained, intimate playing style and he attracted attention beyond jazz for his photogenic looks and singing. But his career was marred by drug addiction. Baker's father, Chesney Henry Baker,Sr., was a guitarist who was forced to turn to other work during the Depression; his mother, Vera (Moser) Baker, worked in a perfumery. The family moved from Oklahoma to Glendale,...
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Riverside Profiles: Chet Baker, Chet Baker
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