Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new compilation/DVD

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new compilation/DVD

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:47 pm

http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/art ... le_id=2215

Image

Chet Baker - Career 1952-1988
Shout! Factory

The sultry, lowdown sound of heartbreak and heroin addiction

Though sometimes dismissed as a �white man�s Miles Davis,� Chet Baker was an undeniably gifted jazz stylist, whose sensitive trumpet playing and languid singing technique are nicely represented on this excellent 2-disc set. The �trumpeter� disc starts with a warmly thrilling take on his signature tune, �My Funny Valentine� from his apprenticeship with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, and continues with ample evidence of his rich tone and technical prowess, including the gorgeous �When Lights Are Low� with Al Haig, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. The �singer� disc features a peerlessly swinging take on �But Not For Me,� a stunning reading of Elvis Costello�s �Almost Blue,� and ends with a keenly melancholic reprise of �Valentine� from his final concert appearance. Underscoring his music�s bittersweet quality, Ernest Hardy�s liner notes make for often-heartbreaking reading, recounting Baker�s tumultuous, ultimately tragic life.


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 17-9938442
Last edited by johnfoyle on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Extreme Honey » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:00 am

I heard it. I didn't think it was all that good. Almost Blue is a Costello song nevertheless, I don't think even Diana can compare with EC's rendition.
Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,
You cannot depend on it to be your guide
When it's you who must keep it satisfied

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Postby verena » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:49 pm

Well she does E. Honey, she does.

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Postby Extreme Honey » Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:47 pm

She did it and it sucked, Verena, She did it and it sucked.
Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,

He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,

You cannot depend on it to be your guide

When it's you who must keep it satisfied

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Postby lapinsjolis » Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:21 pm

I love Chet Baker-thank you for the news Mr. Foyle. Looks like a definitve collection.
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Postby Mikeh » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:13 am

Leo Sayer has a new album with a song called Almost Blue on it......relax everyone, it is NOT the Elvis song, but a Leo Sayer original. Phew!

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:07 am

Mikeh wrote:Leo Sayer has a new album with a song called Almost Blue on it......relax everyone, it is NOT the Elvis song, but a Leo Sayer original. Phew!


As long as Elvis is not covering "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", I think we're safe.
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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:00 am

http://www2.dailynews.com/cdreviews/ci_3072835

LA Daily News
By Steven Rosenberg, Staff Writer

ELISSA LALA: "Touch of Your Voice - New Takes on Chet Baker"
(Omnitone)
Touted as a tribute to Chet Baker, there's nothing derivative or imitative about the latest from this local jazz singer.



Baker favorites, including "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Let's Get Lost," as well as Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue," get an atmospheric reading in which melody and harmony go in unexpected directions, led there by Lala's amazing range and adventurous spirit. Familiar names including pianist Alan Pasqua and drummer Sherman Ferguson, along with

Lala's guitarist husband, Johnny Valentino, provide a rich sonic landscape. She appears Oct. 14 in a free evening concert at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

see also

http://www.omnitone.com/store/015210.htm

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:44 am

Who Shot Sam? wrote:
Mikeh wrote:Leo Sayer has a new album with a song called Almost Blue on it......relax everyone, it is NOT the Elvis song, but a Leo Sayer original. Phew!


As long as Elvis is not covering "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", I think we're safe.


I could see Elvis doing a cover of "When I Need You". If he can cover Christina Aguilera then (almost) anything is possible!
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Postby Extreme Honey » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:56 am

Actually, I'd love to see Elvis cover "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent.
Elvis is possible of anything.
Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,

He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,

You cannot depend on it to be your guide

When it's you who must keep it satisfied

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Postby King Hoarse » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:57 pm

ExHon, maybe you've heard Chet's version of Almost Blue from the Let's Get Lost soundtrack, which left me disappointed too, and is most likely the take featured here, but a couple of years later it popped up again on a Japanese live album, and that '87 version is truly stunning! It's EC's most covered song, I think - at least the one I've heard covered most - and that's my favorite. That live version now conveniently closes the Bespoke Songs..etc. "Songs of EC" CD, which is a must.

(I also love the Cruel Smile version, b.t.w., especially Steve's coda)
What this world needs is more silly men.

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:38 pm

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/jazz/detail/-/l ... um/1194411



Image


Baker, Chet
The Complete Tokyo Concert, 14.6.1987
DVD


1. Stella by starlight
2. For minors only
3. You´d be so nice to come home to
4. Arborway
5. Four
6. Almost blue
7. Beatrice
8. My funny valentine
9. Seven steps to heaven
10. Bonus:Portrait in black and white
11. Broken wing
12. I´m a fool to want you
13. for all we know

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Postby martinfoyle » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:15 pm

http://www.image-entertainment.com/dvd/ ... E471EB9E0E

Chet Baker at Ronnie Scott's London

ACTORS/ARTISTS: Michel Grailler, Riccardo del Fra, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Chet Baker
Year: 1986
Rating: Not Rated
CAT#: ID3496NBDVD
Country: United States
SRP: $19.99
Release Date: 01/09/07

http://www.amazon.com/CHET-BAKER-LIVE-R ... UTF8&s=dvd

Image

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:51 am

http://www.nysun.com/article/56162

New York Sun, NY

A Jazz Fighter on the Ropes



BY STEVE DOLLAR
June 8, 2007


Out of circulation since 1993, Bruce Weber's "Let's Get Lost" is a convoluted exercise in various obsessions. The film whirls through plenty of them during a leisurely, opiated couple of hours: Mr. Weber's dizzying absorption with inky, underexposed black-and-white photography; his subject, the fallen jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker's lifelong craving to stuff his veins with narcotics; the magnetic allure Baker's doomed romanticism held for a string of willfully gullible women, and our collective public fascination with pop idols and the iconography of desire.

Baker was 58 when he died in a fall from an Amsterdam hotel window a few months before the film's 1988 premiere. It wasn't the ending Mr. Weber had planned on, but after watching his camera trace the lingering arc of the musician's decay, it seems inevitable. Once the poster boy for West Coast "cool jazz" in early the 1950s, Baker — as we often are reminded — was a kicked-back natural who combined the sensitive rebel charm of James Dean with post-bop chops that wowed Dizzy Gillespie. Though critics have tended to brand him a lightweight on the horn, Baker also established himself as a vocalist of wispy languor, one whose themes of ache and ardor made him a heartthrob.

This, even as his thriving addiction to heroin marked him as yet another successful jazz figure who would be sucked into bohemia's underbelly. As Baker steadily declined, suffering jail stints, having his teeth knocked out, and fathering numerous children he rarely saw, his no-less-troubled contemporary, Miles Davis, reinvented jazz about four or five times.

Still, it's within Baker's prodigious promise, swift collapse, and brief flashes of latter-day inspiration that Mr. Weber finds a perfect focus for his adoring eye. Baker's immaculate good looks had degenerated into a cracked mask of pain and regret by the time Mr. Weber caught up with him. Yet, like a shattered boxer clinging to the ropes, the performer could not be counted out of the game. The show went on.

It's the film's essential hook. And it's irresistible: the idea that, even as wreckage, Baker could still stir an audience or the affections of a lover with some fragment of profound and sublimated suffering. Against all odds, the filming of "Let's Get Lost "coincided with a small comeback. Baker had collaborated with Elvis Costello, adopting his song "Almost Blue" as a signature, and lived in Europe as a working exile. But he already looks like a walking ghost. The stark contrast between the two Chets is the film's driving rhythm, as scenes shot by Mr. Weber are juxtaposed with vintage performance footage, clips from movies Baker starred in or inspired (Robert Wagner played a version of the trumpeter, renamed Chad Bixby, in 1960's "All the Fine Young Cannibals"), interviews with various ex-wives and associates, and the stunning photography of William Claxton, who discovered Baker before his fame and helped launch his ancillary career as an icon of style.

This strategy, executed without much obvious concern for chronological clarity, seems designed to immerse audiences in the cloudy fugue of memory — perhaps even Baker's own provisional selfmythology, which is glorified and contradicted in equal measure. The film at once marks an homage to the birth of hipsterism in the Eisenhower era and a wallow in the twilight noir of has-beenism. Mr. Weber strives to redeem his subject as some sort of monument, capturing the ruined majesty of Baker's face as if it really did belong on Mount Rushmore, and casting him as the bad and beautiful kingpin of Los Angeles wild life. There he is, cruising in the back of a convertible with Mr. Weber's sylphlike models nuzzling either shoulder, or entertaining the small talk of late-'80s cool kids like Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and the actress Lisa Marie.

The gorgeous new print that Mr. Weber will personally unveil at tonight's Film Forum screening is such a visual treat that it's easy to forgive the film's indulgences. This is not a documentary for people who are expecting a Ken Burns treatment. It is, at times annoyingly so, akin to a cinematic adaptation of an old Interview magazine feature. But Mr. Weber's affection for artifice slowly gives way to an unflinching taste for hard truth. Chet Baker did not leave a goodlooking corpse, but Mr. Weber has framed one ceaselessly seductive death trip.

Through June 28 (209 W. Houston St., between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street, 212-727-8110).

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Re: Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new complation/DVD

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:18 am

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/22/ ... php?page=2

A brief moment of glory in Chet Baker's twilight

By John Vinocur
Friday, February 22, 2008

AMSTERDAM: Twenty years ago this spring, when Chet Baker fell to his death from the window of an Amsterdam hotel room, an afterlife began that, in terms of the sordid and dismal, almost matched the real thing.

Recordings came out sounding like they were lifted from $29.95 Dictaphones, and sold, flub on top of half-hearted solo, as souvenirs of Chet Baker's decline, authenticated splinters straight from the coffin of the junkie trumpeter.

The macabre jostled the maudlin. Because the police ruled Baker's death an accident, but without a definitive explanation of his fall, a Dutch television producer brought a team of clairvoyants to the hotel room to feel out the real story. Their eyes shut, hands to foreheads, the world beyond beamed them messages of violence, a struggle, a woman.

If you liked Baker's music, you could laugh or you could throw up.

This was the grim excess, rather than his talent, that almost always dominated the story about Chet.

As a young player of really exceptional melodic gifts, it was surely his moody handsomeness and softly sleek singing voice that made him famous. Years later, when his playing deepened, and became remarkable for its cloudbursts of lyricism and emotionality, what stuck was his drug addict's imploded face, his jail time, his slipping dentures, his edge-of-destruction wandering among what remained of Europe's jazz clubs.

Twenty years on since his death on May 13, 1988, at 58, you could say stop and enough. This biweekly space, which is about enjoyment in full roar (or melancholy's pleasures) wants to make the case that there is a Chet Baker double CD and DVD brilliant enough to muffle the tales of the freak show.

The album, with a quartet, is called "Chet Baker in Tokyo," and the DVD, containing two additional tracks, "Chet Baker: The Complete Tokyo Concert."

The material was recorded live in June 1987, about 11 months before his death.

The performances are remarkable because they take in, at the highest level, everything that people said Chet could do - play ballads with almost painful, poetic eloquence - and what many said he could not: blow hard and tough enough so as to make the trumpet sound its essence.

That meant, using a phrase from Art Farmer, a contemporary fairly dismissive of Baker, "you're supposed to play it like you're calling out the troops."

On "Four," a Miles Davis tune, or "Arborway," by the Brazilian musician Rique Pantoja, Baker, moving effortlessly in and out of double-time, plays runs of increasing intensity and originality that portray him as a gutty hard-bopper.

On Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue," Baker captures its yearning by holding tight to the melody almost as if he were reading sheet music. With his sound and pace, the track distills what Charlie Parker said of "that little white cat" who blew "sweet, gentle, yet direct and honest."

On "My Funny Valentine," Baker's trademark tune, and the best track, the emotion and velvet is there in the brief vocal, but in contrast, so are chorus after chorus of tough, in-your-face trumpeting.

It's not calling out the troops, but jazz in its great power. It is Baker's two voices superimposed. It is as if Chet, pushing aside the years of wreckage, said: Here's the musician I am.

The Tokyo Concert has fascinated and moved me the same way that Miles Davis, on the way down, was able to on "Time After Time," or Stan Getz, not long before his death, did on his "Serenity" and "Anniversary" albums with Kenny Barron.

They are performances in musical remission. They are performances of such quality and sincerity that they have a sense of contentment and finality.

For Baker, who never defeated (or really fought) his addiction, how did this happen?

I asked both Harold Danko, Chet's piano player on the session and now chairman of the jazz studies department at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and Hein van de Geyn, the fine Dutch musician who was Baker's bassist at the time.

Danko, who played superb solos and backing, said it had something to do with the band's feeling as a unit and Baker's confidence and comfort in it, rather than the usual pickup rhythm sections of local unknowns Baker often fronted.

This was a million miles, Danko said, from the recording sessions where a producer would order up a sing-and-play album, somebody would listen to a Sinatra record, and then write down the words for Chet to sing 10 minutes later. Or a record date with two 50-minute sides on order where Chet would check his watch and then stop in the middle of chorus because he had counted off 103.

The fact was also - no getting away from it - that during the three weeks Baker toured Japan he was on methadone, out of respect both for Japan's extremely rigorous narcotics laws and the certain difficulty of obtaining heroin.

I watched part of the concert DVD with Van de Geyn at his place on a canal in Dordrecht, near Rotterdam. As Baker played long fluent lines, and kept going and going, Van de Geyn grinned and stretched his arms wide.

The music was immense.

"Japan was something completely different," he said. "He had color in his face. He actually ate. He drank a little Cognac. He was talkative. It was the best I ever saw him."

For Danko, Baker found himself, for once, not playing to people secretly waiting for him to screw up. "It was something fresh. Something flowed all the time."

No social worker's moral inserts itself here. A wonderful, mostly miserable, legendary musician simply got it together for an ultimate but not terribly well known moment that is alive and shining.

Baker, of course, was fatally true to himself. At the airport before leaving Tokyo, as the story goes, Peter Huijts, the quartet's road manager, raved about the tour and what it promised. Chet replied he couldn't wait "to get back to Paris and" - beware of the euphemism - "get messed up."

I asked Van de Geyn about that. "Sounds absolutely right," he said.

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Re:

Postby stormwarning » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:47 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:
Who Shot Sam? wrote:
Mikeh wrote:Leo Sayer has a new album with a song called Almost Blue on it......relax everyone, it is NOT the Elvis song, but a Leo Sayer original. Phew!


As long as Elvis is not covering "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", I think we're safe.


I could see Elvis doing a cover of "When I Need You". If he can cover Christina Aguilera then (almost) anything is possible!


Or maybe he'll be the opening act on the next Leo Sayer tour. Now THAT I would pay to see.
Where's North from 'ere?

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Re: Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new compilation/DVD

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:21 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alUSx_X_ ... re=related

'A very moving performance of "almost blue" from the movie "lets get lost" '

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Re: Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new compilation/DVD

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:00 pm

Just stumbled on this , from about a month before Chet Baker's death. Messed up, all over the place but just so perfect for the song. Tragic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HBxbFyBYNA

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Re: Chet Baker 'Almost Blue' on new compilation/DVD

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:53 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjf6gb8hjW8

"Almost Blue." from the album Chet Baker In Tokyo, recorded in 1987


Elvis in 1998 -

"ALMOST BLUE" -- Chet Baker

It's strange how this song finally found its way to the singer for whom it was intended. I wrote it in 1981 after spending a lot of time with a couple of Chet Baker's vocal albums. I fell in love with the Brown/Henderson composition "The Thrill Is Gone" and resolved to write a song modeled on Chet's rendition of it. My version of "Almost Blue" was recorded for the album Imperial Bedroom.

It was an extraordinary piece of fortune that Chet Baker should make an unexpected appearance in London during the sessions for my next album, Punch The Clock. Steve Nieve had already played a piano solo on Robert Wyatt's recording of "Shipbuilding," so I had decided to have a trumpet interlude on our version. During the week of Chet's residency, I went to the club, introduced myself, and invited him to the studio. While Robert Wyatt's recording remains, in my opinion, unassailable, Chet's playing and the response it drew from The Attractions more than justified my decision to recut the tune.

At the end of the "Shipbuilding" session I gave Chet a copy of "Almost Blue," but I found it easy to imagine that he would mislay it before ever hearing the song. Over the next few years I always went to see Chet when he performed in London; we'd share a drink and a few words, and on one occasion we played a short set together for a concert video shot at Ronnie Scott's Club. However, the song I'd given to him was never mentioned.

A few months after Chet's death I was given a tape containing his very fragile version of my song. It turned out to be from a scene in Bruce Weber's Baker documentary, Let's Get Lost, where, not for the first time in his life, Chet was attempting to perform for an audience of drunken, self-satisfied idiots. It was pretty much as I had first encountered him and all the more heartbreaking being that I was not able to thank him for even attempting to play my tune.

One of the laziest and most banal critical generalisations is that Chet Baker was a man who entirely sacrificed his early musical promise to drugs. Whatever junk did to him or for him, it certainly wasn't pretty and it surely caused a lot of grief. However, to suggest that he made no worthwhile music in later years is absolute nonsense. Although he was inclined to cover the same repertoire on live recordings, he also made some beautiful studio recordings of new compositions, such as Richard Beirach's "Broken Wing." The album The Legacy, recorded only a year before his death, shows that he was not only playing wonderfully, but he could also rise to the unfamiliar challenge of playing with a big band lineup. I am therefore delighted that this collection should close with a less harrowing take on "Almost Blue." It comes from the album Chet Baker In Tokyo, recorded in 1987, and it finds Chet much more at ease with the tune. It is to my great delight that this arrangement also includes a trumpet solo and that the song finally sounds pretty much as I dreamed it would.


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