Artist: Chet Baker
SACD Release Date: June 11, 2002
Original Release Date: March 1959
Format: Hybrid SACD
Label: Analogue Productions
Chet Baker's Chet is one of my all-time favorite albums in any genre. The album was recorded at Reeves Sound Studios in New York city on December 30, 1958 and January 19, 1959. It is a very mellow west coast jazz album that is purely instrumental. The Analogue Productions SACD version is a must have for any jazz fan. The sound of this album is very warm and absolutely impeccable. If you like solo trumpet with a little saxophone and bass you will love this album. Another plus is that the songs are not very long. There are no ten minute marathons, so you have a nice change of pace every four or five minutes. I am no jazz expert so I won't go into all the famous musicians on this album. I guess it really doesn't matter to me who is on the album as long as it sounds this good. If you are fairy new to jazz, as I was when I purchased this album, this is a great introduction to the west coast jazz style and great sound. This is not an album for big jazz band fans rather it is a great showcase of individual players without any distractions. The first song, Alone Together is my favorite song on the album. The bass and horns are absolutely perfect. This song is full of horn solos with a great background of soft drums and bass. The song switches between trumpet and saxophone and they compliment each other perfectly when played together. A close second is, It Never Entered My Mind which has great trumpet and bass from start to finish. The only thing I have to say about the song If You Could See Me Now is mellow, great trumpet, great bass, perfect SACD sound. Time On My Hands (You In My Arms) has a nice quick trumpet opening and is a more upbeat song altogether. An awesome deep bass solo towards the end of this song is a great chance to really turn the volume. The only song that gets lost in this sea of greats is the bonus track Early Morning Wood. I'm sure the song would be great on many other albums, but amongst these songs, and being at the end of the album, it just seems like filler and a reason for someone to repurchase a copy of the album. A couple other songs have a little flute mixed in with some acoustic guitar and the occasional snare drum. However, the bottom line is that this is a trumpeters album.
Recommended: The whole album, period. Whether you have a Super Audio CD player or not, I suggest you order the Hybrid SACD version from Acoustic Sounds. It was put out on their Analogue Productions label which is famous for making great sounding reissues of classic albums. If you have a turn table I recommend the vinyl AP pressing even more.
Rating: 5 out of 5