Download the PDF: Bb, Concert, Eb, Bass Clef
If there is one thing no one can deny about Chet Baker, it is that he was a master of melody (and that he was a massive drug addict). These early 1954 live recordings show too that Chet was well-versed in the bebop language and had been listening to and even playing with Charlie Parker. It’s this early playing that I think is Chet’s most potent as an improvisor. Continue reading
Download the PDF: C, Bb, Eb, Bass Clef
“Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” solo by Chet Baker, From Quartet Live Vol. 3 (Aug 1954).
What I love about this solo is how surprised I was when I found out this was Chet Baker. The tempo is absolutely blazing fast and Chet just rips this tune apart playing a mix of beautiful melodies and chromatic eighth notes. Chet is known for slow songs, and his eerie singing, but this track shows why Charlie Parker was so excited to play with Chet with Parker got stuck in LA. This recording is part of a set of nights in LA with Chet’s quartet, right after Chet gets back from touring with Bird. I have all three nights (Quartet Live Vol1, 2 & 3) and they’re all phenomenal. It’s clear that this early playing by Chet is the reason Bird warned Miles and Dizzy of a this guy out on the West Coast.