Chet Baker was one of the most influential and versatile jazz musicians of the 20th century. His lyrical trumpet playing and distinctive singing style earned him a reputation as a master of cool jazz, but he also explored other genres such as bebop, hard bop, and fusion. He recorded over 100 albums as a leader or co-leader, and collaborated with some of the greatest names in jazz history, such as Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Art Pepper, and Bill Evans.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the highlights of Chet Baker's discography, spanning from his debut in 1953 to his final recordings in 1988. We will also provide links to download his albums in lossless format, so you can enjoy his music in the best possible quality.
Chet Baker & Strings (1953)
This was Chet Baker's first album as a leader, and it showcased his lyrical and romantic side. He was accompanied by a string section arranged by Johnny Mandel, and a rhythm section featuring Russ Freeman on piano. The album included standards such as \"You Don't Know What Love Is\", \"I'm Thru With Love\", and \"My Funny Valentine\", which became one of Baker's signature tunes. The album was well received by critics and fans alike, and established Baker as a rising star in the jazz scene.
Chet Baker Sings (1954)
This was Chet Baker's first vocal album, and it caused a sensation in the jazz world. His soft and intimate voice contrasted with the typical vocal style of jazz singers at the time, and his phrasing and intonation were influenced by his trumpet playing. He sang with a natural ease and emotion that captivated listeners, and his choice of songs reflected his romantic personality. The album included classics such as \"But Not For Me\", \"Time After Time\", \"There Will Never Be Another You\", and \"I Fall In Love Too Easily\". The album was a huge success, and launched Baker's career as a singer as well as a trumpeter.
Chet Baker Quartet Featuring Russ Freeman (1953-1956)
This was Chet Baker's most prolific period as a leader, and he recorded several albums with his quartet featuring Russ Freeman on piano. Freeman was Baker's musical partner and friend, and they had a remarkable chemistry and rapport. They played mostly original compositions by Freeman or Baker, as well as some standards and jazz tunes. Their music was characterized by a relaxed and swinging groove, a melodic and lyrical approach, and a subtle interplay between the trumpet and the piano. Some of the albums they recorded together were The Chet Baker Quartet, Chet Baker Quartet Featuring Russ Freeman, Quartet: Russ Freeman/Chet Baker, Jazz at Ann Arbor, Chet Baker in Europe, Chet Baker & Crew, and The Route.