Chet Baker Jazz Style

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An iconic artist of the West Coast jazz scene in the early 1950’s, Chet Baker is regarded in music history as an artist whose potential and fame was unfortunately cut short due to his losing battle with an unhealthy addiction to narcotics. A vocalist and trumpet player, Chet Baker is credited with helping to develop the cool jazz style in California and was able to gain the favorable attention of the populace due to his dashing good looks. Baker went on to perform on the European stage until his untimely death in 1988 and is known today for his soft, romantic style of singing and playing. Chet Baker was born on December 23, 1929 in Yale, Oklahoma to two music loving parents. He began playing the trumpet when he was 13 years old after his…show more content…
This was during his early career, before the heroin addiction took control of Chet Baker’s life and career for the majority of the next decade. Recorded for Pacific Jazz Records in California by the Chet Baker Quartet and other contributing artists, “Chet Baker Sings” consisted of eight tracks and exemplified Baker’s signature cool jazz style. There would be a rerelease of the album in 1956, also with Pacific Jazz Records, that would include an additional six songs. The cool jazz style began in the 1950’s as a reaction to bebop, it consisted of softer and more lyrical tones in contrast to bebop’s more fast-paced, busy playing. It replaced the blues form of previous jazz styles with the popular song form which consists of 32 bars typically in an AABA format. Cool jazz bands could consist of traditionally classical instruments such as the flute or french horn and the style is considered a combination of jazz and classical music. This style repopularized jazz music and brought it back into mainstream music, such as it had been during the Swing era. Cool jazz was seen by critics as the more sophisticated and classical version of jazz, sometimes unrecognizable from the past style of jazz and therefore seen by some as not jazz at all. The “more reserved and controlled” style of playing reflected a post-World War II United States of America that now valued stability and self-control. The country’s entertainment of choice had been subdued from nightclubs and amusement parks to activities that reflected their new quiet, suburban lifestyles. The “Chet Baker Sings” album was filled with a combination of Baker’s trademark soft cooning and his quiet, elegant trumpet playing. It was Baker’s debut album as a vocalist, he sang on tracks such as “This is Always” and “I Fall in Love Too Easily”. Other artists that contributed to this album included Carson Smith, Jimmy Bond, and Joe

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