[JPL] A Jazzman So Cool You Want Him Frozen at His Peak

Bob Rogers rwsfin at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 5 23:36:52 EDT 2007


err, Lazaro

dyslexicly yers,

Bob Rogers
2816 Barmettler Street
Raleigh, NC 27607
WSHA-FM
www.wshafm.org
email: rwsfin at hotmail.com
phone: (919) 413-4126





>From: "Bob Rogers" <rwsfin at hotmail.com>
>Reply-To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
>To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>Subject: Re: [JPL] A Jazzman So Cool You Want Him Frozen at His Peak
>Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 23:31:52 -0400
>
>This Week's JPL Sponsor: MC Promotion
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>Mike Carlson: mcpro at earthlink.net -- (800) 729-7450
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>I read this Rafferty thing in the Times.  I thought it so stunningly 
>ignorant about the music that I just didn't even feel like arguing about 
>it.  As Lorazo observer, where do you start?  Rafferty's free, of course, 
>to say whatever he wants.  But if we were friends I would adivse him to 
>just stick to writing about the movies.  But we aren't, so what the hell?  
>Still, "Let's Get Lost" is a surpassingly jive flick.  He certainly got 
>that part right.
>
>I have a copy of the Paul Bley/Chet Baker duo on Steeplechase.  It's called 
>Diane.  It's well worth whatever one must do to get it.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Bob Rogers
>2816 Barmettler Street
>Raleigh, NC 27607
>WSHA-FM
>www.wshafm.org
>email: rwsfin at hotmail.com
>phone: (919) 413-4126
>
>
>
>
>
>>From: Jae Sinnett <jaejazz at yahoo.com>
>>Reply-To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
>>To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
>>Subject: Re: [JPL] A Jazzman So Cool You Want Him Frozen at His Peak
>>Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 19:25:51 -0700 (PDT)
>>
>>This Week's JPL Sponsor: MC Promotion
>>
>>Mike Carlson: mcpro at earthlink.net -- (800) 729-7450
>>
>>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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>>
>>
>>Larzaro, on the "Last Great Concert" recording Chet recorded "Look For the 
>>Silver Lining." The song IMO featured one of the most musical and 
>>perfectly constructed trumpet solos I've heard. It's an amazing 
>>demonstration of musical logic. Those that haven't heard it must check it 
>>out. It reminds me of Keith Jarrett's solo on "In Love In Vain" from the 
>>2nd "Standards" release.....in its pacing and construction but not as 
>>expansive in register. Amazing. The Evidence release I think you're 
>>referring to is "Live In Tokyo" if I can remember correctly and that 
>>recording contains "Stella By Starlight".....which again demonstrated 
>>Chet's extraordinary ability in producing with minimal range. The Chet big 
>>band release also showed a different side.....energetic and here he used 
>>more of the upper register of the horn than I've ever heard him.
>>
>>   Jae Sinnett
>>
>>
>>
>>Lazaro Vega <wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com> wrote:
>>   This Week's JPL Sponsor: MC Promotion
>>
>>Mike Carlson: mcpro at earthlink.net -- (800) 729-7450
>>
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>>
>>Hey folks --
>>
>>Here's a letter from saxophonist Allen Lowe:
>>
>>to the editor:
>>
>>Terrence Rafferty's recent review of Bruce Weber's Chet Baker film
>>Let's Get Lost shows a surprising ignorance of Baker's talent and late
>>music, not to mention Baker's continued reputation. To say, as
>>Rafferty does, that "his talent, though real, was thin. Unlike his
>>rival Miles Davis, he persisted, with a stubbornness that suggests a
>>fairly serious failure of imagination, in playing the cool style long
>>past the point at which it had begun to sound mannered and even a
>>little silly" is to show virtually no awareness of the development of
>>Baker's music. Not only did his whole approach, from the dynamics of
>>his performance to his musical attack, evolve in real if sometimes
>>relatively subtle ways, but his reputation was/is intact among
>>historians and fans of the music. I remember running into the great
>>alto saxophonist Herb Geller in Germany, not long after Baker had
>>died. Geller talked about a late concert at which "Chet could only
>>play one octave, but it was unlike anybody else's octave." Chet
>>Baker's sound and means of expression remained unique and wondrous to
>>the end; his playing, from the 1960s on, took on a new and more
>>aggressive character and a deeper, darker lyricism. Rafferty has
>>apparently done everything except listen to the actual music.
>>
>>sincerely,
>>Allen Lowe
>>
>>
>>
>>And here's one from the former Chicago Sun Times writer Larry Kart:
>>
>>Mr. Rafferty says some inaccurate, foolish things in his piece about
>>Chet Baker and the film "Let's Get Lost."
>>
>>1) "Chet Baker hadn't mattered for a while when Mr. Weber was filming
>>him [inthe late 1980s].... He's practically forgotten now."
>>
>>Mattered to whom? Messed up though he was, Baker remained a
>>significant draw in Europe until the end and arguably was a better
>>trumpet player in his later years (when he was in decent physical
>>shape, and sometimes when he was not -- the recorded evidence is
>>considerable). As for "practically forgotten now," that is absurd.
>>Baker recordings proliferate, and how could a "practically forgotten"
>>figure be the subject of a fairly recent and successful (though IMO
>>mostly in terms of favorable reviews) biography, to which Rafferty
>>himself refers, James Gavin's "Deep In A Dream"?
>>
>>2) "Jazz history hasn't been kind to him; his talent, though real, was 
>>thin.
>>Unlike his rival Miles Davis, he persisted, with a stubbornness that
>>suggests a fairly serious failure of imagination, in playing the cool
>>style long past the point at which it had begun to sound mannered and
>>even a little silly."
>>
>>Where does one begin? Leaving aside the dubious/snotty opinions here,
>>most jazz writers regard Baker's music more positively now than at any
>>point in his life -- in part because some of them, as mentioned above,
>>find the best of his later work to be more mature than his early work,
>>in part because the notion of Baker as a necessarily inferior "rival"
>>to Miles Davis is now seen as a relic both of a somewhat
>>understandable but thoughtless Crow Jim-ism and of the assumption that
>>Baker was little more than a pretty-boy jazz matinee idol. Musicians
>>knew better. Miles was Miles, and Chet was Chet -- both quite
>>individual figures, nor does the evidence suggests that Baker was
>>heavily influenced by Davis.
>>
>>3) "Mr. Baker isn't so much the subject of this picture as its
>>pretext: He's the front man for Mr. Weber's meditations on image
>>making and its discontents. If you want the true story of Chet Baker,
>>you'd do better to look up James Gavin's superb, harrowing 2002
>>biography, 'Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker,' where you
>>can also find, in the words of a pianist named Hal Galper, perhaps the
>>most perceptive review of Mr. Weber's slippery movie. 'I thought it
>>was great,' Mr. Galper says, 'because it was so jive. Everybody's
>>lying, including Chet. You couldn't have wanted a more honest
>>reflection of him.' That's 'Let's Get Lost,' to the life: the greatest
>>jive movie, or maybe the jivest great movie, ever made."
>>
>>I agree that "Let's Get Lost" is a jive movie, and that Baker serves as a
>>pretext for Bruce Weber's... I would say "manipulations" rather than
>>"meditations." In fact, the best part of James Gavin's otherwise rather
>>ill-informed "Deep In A Dream" is his takedown of Weber, whose
>>character and milieu he seems to know and care (albeit in a hostile
>>way) far more about than he does about the life, art, and times of
>>Chet Baker. Rather than "Deep In A Dream," you'd do better to read
>>Jeroen de Valk's "Chet Baker: His Life and Music" (Berkeley Hills
>>Books). BTW, the by no means uncritical de Valk writes that the 2-CD
>>set "Chet Baker in Tokyo" (Evidence), recorded in 1987, one year
>>before Baker's death, is "his best recording ever." Baker also is in
>>remarkable form on 2-CD set "The Last Concert" (Enja), which was
>>recorded less than a month (!) before his death.
>>
>>
>>End Quotes
>>
>>Both of these guys make valid points about this article.
>>
>>That Jeroen de Valk book gets closest to dealing with the music of
>>Chet's later years, the Evidence recording he refers to is great, and
>>he knows enough about Chet's methadone treatments that he can pin
>>point the better performances from that prolific last period.
>>
>>There may have been a time when Baker was coming out of Miles, a
>>certain period of Miles, in that he focused on the mid-range of the
>>horn, and he chose a few tunes Miles recorded (but so did many jazz
>>musicians and they still do -- Bye Bye Blackbird with a two beat feel,
>>or On Green Dolphin Street, Four or any of a number of others) yet his
>>personalization of that sound went deeper than mimicry.
>>
>>Recently John Proux hit the scene --he's from Grand Rapids and went to
>>Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, among other places -- singing tunes from the
>>Chet Baker song book and he does a good job with them. He's a fine
>>young talent. Yet when I hear him sing those numbers it's like, where
>>are the flat notes? Chet so imprinted his interpretations on those
>>that to hear someone else sing them without the salt, that is,
>>"correctly," is to take away some of the personality Baker seasoned
>>them with. Proux sings his way because of who he is and does not want
>>to sing them exactly the way Chet did -- which is cool.
>>
>>During his later period, too, Chet was a heavy influence on Meredith
>>D'Ambrosio. He was far from forgotton or washed up. That's just flat
>>out wrong.
>>
>>That Enja recording of "The Last Great Concert" includes a blistering
>>version of George Shearing's "Conception" which Chet nails, just blows
>>up, which confounds me no end as he played all that tricky bopmatism
>>by EAR.
>>
>>There's also a recording on Soul Note from the later years with a
>>regional, provicial symphony which (if memory serves) includes a
>>deeply moving version of Laura.
>>
>>I have a soft spot for "Chet Baker Sings Again" on Timeless, a kind of
>>Marlon Brando meets the jazz ballad which doesn't rate on too many
>>lists but it was one of those recordings that was played a lot on the
>>radio when it was new as it was released about the same time as a
>>Mosaic box on Baker. And I don't think there's ever been a recording
>>as slow as the duo album by Paul Bley and Baker on Steeplechase.
>>There's a certain virtuosity in that, a kind of poetry, too.
>>
>>Then there are all those guitar/bass/trumpet recordings Baker made
>>with Doug Raney and Nils-Henning Orsted Pederson (who doesn't exactly
>>suck in the chops department, I mean, he made his name with Oscar
>>Peterson so why in the world would he cotton up to a no playing junkie
>>pain in the ass if there wasn't a heavy musical reason for doing
>>so?...ok, money, but I believe NHOP had more invested in that music
>>than just 'playing another B flat gig for the bread'). From one live
>>appearance in 1979 there are three albums by that trio, and their
>>studio date, "The Touch of Your Lips."
>>
>>There just wasn't enough reality underpinning this article in the New
>>York Times. Baker's last period had some true high points for jazz.
>>There are many musicians who found it so.
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