Song:Donna Lee (Indiana)
Album:Bird and Chet at the Trade Winds
Very early in his career, trumpeter Chet Baker did a west coast tour with Charlie Parker. They never recorded together in the studio and Baker would soon join Gerry Mulligan's band. Fortunately, a live recording is available on CD. And though the recording quality isn't the best, jazz fans should get it anyway. This was recorded at the Trade Winds in Inglewood, CA June 1952. Parker was probably the biggest star in jazz at the time tempered by his unreliability due to his heroin addiction. Baker had just moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco and his first big gig was with Stan Getz. He wasn't a heroin addict yet. Parker chose Baker for this tour and it was a big enough deal that it earned Baker a steady gig with Mulligan. And that's the band that made Baker a star. Other musicians were Sonny Criss on alto sax, Al Haig on piano, Harry Babasin on bass and Larance Marable on drums. Haig worked frequently with Parker but not the others. This track begins as Back Home In Indiana and then morphs into the Parker song Donna Lee. Babasin had a friend record the set and the recordings were discovered in San Diego in 1990. This is a must for jazz fans. Not long after, Baker formed his now famous band with Mulligan and Parker died a few years later. So the two never worked together again. Here's a video of Donna Lee (Indiana) by Charlie Parker & Chet Baker.