Monday, September 05, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chet Baker & Paul Desmond

Artist:Chet Baker & Paul Desmond
Song:Autumn Leaves
Album:Together: The Complete Studio Recordings

Of course trumpeter Chet Baker and alto sax player Paul Desmond are two of the all time jazz greats. Desmond was best known for his days with Dave Brubeck. Baker was a great musician who had serious drug problems. Some fans may not even know these two recorded together in the 70s. They didn't record a full album but they recorded enough that Sony has put everything on one budget CD. In the early 70s, Baker lived in Europe. He was on methadone at the time so he was still addicted to heroin but it was under control. He also had dental surgery to fix problems as a result of a 1966 beating. He moved back to New York in 1974 and signed with CTI Records. Autumn Leaves is from the 1974 album She Was Too Good To Me. This was perceived as a comeback album for Baker. So producer Creed Taylor put together an all star band. Desmond plays on Autumn Leaves and Tangerine. Other musicians include Hubert Laws on flute, Bob James on piano, Milt Jackson on vibes, Ron Carter on bass and Steve Gadd on drums. Don Sebesky wrote the arrangements. This CD contains those two songs plus songs from the 1977 Baker albums You Can't Go Home Again and The Best Thing For You which were on A&M. And there are three songs from the 1975 Jim Hall album Concierto. Baker and Desmond played on that album. Everything is conveniently on this budget CD. Sadly Paul Desmond died in 1977 so these were some of his final recordings. Baker moved back to Europe to stay until his 1988 death. I think many jazz fans don't know that Baker and Desmond recorded together. So this is a great CD. Here's a video for Autumn Leaves by Chet Baker & Paul Desmond.

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