Saturday, May 24, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chet Baker and Bill Evans

Artist:Chet Baker and Bill Evans
Song:Alone Together
Album:The Complete Legendary Sessions

Trumpeter Chet Baker and pianist Bill Evans were two of the most talented guys in jazz history. But they were also two of the most troubled as both were addicted to heroin. Jazz fans may not even know that they recorded together just before Baker moved to Europe in 1960. At one time the two were looking to put a band together. But it never happened and Evans recorded the landmark Kind Of Blue album with Miles Davis. In the late 50s, Baker was already an established bandleader but Evans was mostly a sideman. Both guys were recording for Riverside Records at the time. They wanted to work together but Baker had moved to Los Angeles and Evans was still living in New York. Riverside Records producer Orrin Keepnews to the rescue. He brought Baker to New York to record the 1959 album Chet with Bill Evans on piano, Herbie Mann on flute, Pepper Adams on baritone sax, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Paul Chambers on bass and Connie Kay on drums. Evans plays on all but one song including Alone Together. Alone Together was written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz for the 1932 musical Flying Colors. The song was a hit for Artie Shaw in 1939 and has been a jazz standard since then. Most of the songs on The Complete Legendary Sessions are from Chet. But Keepnews put Baker and Evans together again for some songs from Chet Baker Plays The Best of Lerner and Leowe. Evans plays on four songs with Herbie Mann, Pepper Adams, Zoot Sims on tenor sax, Earl May on bass and Clifford Jarvis on drums. The Spanish label American Jazz Classics has conveniently released these recordings on one CD. It's a must for jazz fans. It doesn't look like Baker and Evans ever recorded together again. By 1960, Baker moved to Europe and Evans formed his first trio with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro. LaFaro's death in a car accident sent Evans into a tailspin. Baker continued his heroin addiction in Europe. Fans of both guys will want this CD. Here's a video of Alone Together by Chet Baker and Bill Evans.

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