Chet Baker + Stan Getz - West Coast Live Disc 2
Recorded live at the Haig and The Tiffany Club, Los Angeles, California on June 12, 1953 & August 17, 1954.
Original Release Date: March 25, 1997
Audio CD: March 25, 1997
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Blue Note Records
Bitrate: VBR 251-320: 300 avg kbps
One of the most infamously acrimonious musical unions transpired between two of the leading purveyors of West Coast cool jazz: Chet Baker (trumpet) and Stan Getz (tenor sax). Their paths crossed only a handful of times and West Coast Live captures two of their earliest encounters in Los Angeles at the Haig on June 12, 1953, and the Tiffany Club on August 17, 1953. These recordings have been issued in Europe and Japan ad infinitum in varying degrees of quality, completeness, and often sporting erroneous data. However, enthusiasts should note that West Coast Live is the only release derived from producer/engineer Dick Bock's own master reels. For two men who purportedly would rather not be in the same room at the same time, Baker and Getz are able to create some legitimately brilliant improvisation. For the Haig set, Getz had been brought in to co-lead a quartet with Baker for an incarcerated Gerry Mulligan. Musically the results vacillate. There are moments of sheer inspiration, such as the musical cat and mouse demonstrated on "Strike up the Band" or the straight-ahead driving-bop lines the two bandy on "Yardbird Suite," which includes tasty solos from Carson Smith (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums). There are likewise the brass entanglements that plague "The Way You Look Tonight" as well as the opening of "Winter Wonderland," which suffers from the "too many cooks" syndrome. The second and shorter set is taken from a recording session held during the afternoon -- hence the lack of an audience response after each number -- at the Tiffany Club. Baker's quartet at the time featured Russ Freeman (piano) and Shelly Manne (drums), as well as Carson Smith (bass), who reprised his role at the heart of this quintet. All three tracks contain very little in the way of interaction between Baker and Getz, featuring more of the support trio than the two co-leads. ~ AMG
Stan Getz and Chet Baker hated each other, according to "Stan Getz, A Life in Jazz". At least Stan thought Baker was unprofessional and often "smacked up" falling over, off-key, out-of-tune. Stan was probably just as high, but could seemingly play perfectly no matter how high he was. Future Stan often got annoyed with Chet's sloppy play. On the album "Quintessence 1" and many others, this is certainly true. Yet they were constantly being pushed together by record companies, to make that magic album by the Kings of Cool that always eluded the producers.
But not here, particularly. Both sound amazingly sober. It's 1953, Gerry Mulligan is in slam for indulging in his bad habits. Baker with Mulligan's old band looking for work and trolling around for a sax man.
No Baker crooning here (at this point in his life Chet sang his best, or mostly in-tune stuff). There is the kind of complex, yet cool, aloof bepop duets that one finds with Getz and Brookmeyer. Getz and Baker carefully dance around each other creating instant chords without a piano. "Bernies Tune", the Mulligan classic, is an excellent example, not the sax solo's, then trumpet but true interaction. All here is cool, witty, dry and buttoned-down. Which I guess means "West Coast". A dry martini. Almost like Paul Desmond! ~ Amazon reviewer
Chet Baker (vocals, trumpet);
Stan Getz (tenor saxophone);
Russ Freeman (piano);
Carson Smith (bass);
Larry Bunker, Shelly Manne (drums).
Chet Baker + Stan Getz - West Coast Live Disc 2 tracks:
01 Bernie's Tune
02 All the Things You Are
03 Winter Wonderland - (take 2)
04 Gone With the Wind
05 All the Things You Are
06 Darn That Dream
07 Crazy Rhythm