Chet Baker could hang just as well as the cats back East, as he proves on the classic CHET BAKER IN NEW YORK. To quell the East vs. West debate, Baker joined New York all-stars like Johnny Griffin, Al Haig, and the Miles Davis rhythm team of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones for a rousing session that is one for the history books. Listening to these seven standards, there's little doubt that this cross-pollination was a successful experiment.
Baker, sticking to trumpet, sounds just as smooth and laid back as usual. From brisk numbers such as "Hotel 49" to blue ballads such as "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," the trumpeter always projects his cool image, only now with a subtle urging from his East Coast sidemen. Griffin is complimentary to the leader, and shines on tasty solo spots such as Benny Golson's swinging opener "Fair Weather." Chambers and Jones get a chance to record a very different take of Davis' classic "Solar," here featuring Baker's velvety wanderings at a mid-tempo lope. Other choice cuts in this experiment include the bouncing "When Lights Are Low" and Benny Goodman's lazily swinging "Soft Winds."
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone)
Al Haig (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York in September 1958.