June 14, 2024

Chet Baker
Love For Sale

(Just a Memory/Justin Time – 2005)
by Matthew S. Robinson

Though recorded during the ‘back nine’ of Chet Baker’s tragic career, this hazy club date recording captures glints of the singing trumpeter’s former brilliance. Swinging from a bebop cover of Miles Davis’ “Milestones” to a punchy and adventurous exploration of Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale,” Baker pushes valiantly to regain his former chops. When he finds himself unable, Baker graciously yields to pianist Phil Markowitz and his talented group of supporters (which includes saxophonist Roger Rosenberg, bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Jeff Brillinger) or parts his award-winning lips to release his unmistakably sad and tremulously inviting voice.

Listen To Milestones

Reworked favorites “Oh,You Crazy Moon” and “There Will Never Be Another You” may be a fitting pair of vocal expressions for this distinctive artist who rose and fell with such velocity that even today, his legacy is shrouded in mystery. In any case, this live fits as well in the record label’s “collector’s classic” series as it does in any Baker fan or Jazz fan’s library.

c. 2005, M. S. Robinson, ARR

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