Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks.
Chet Baker Quartet Featuring Russ Freeman (1998) is a perfect studio companion to the Mosaic Records set Complete Pacific Jazz Live Recordings of Chet Baker With Russ Freeman (1988). As was the custom for jazz platters of the time, both Baker and Freeman are joined by a different combo on each date. The luminaries include Bobby Whitlock (bass), Joe Mondragon (bass), Bobby White (bass), Larry Bunker (drums) and Shelly Manne (drums) from sessions held circa July and October of 1953.
If you're a romantic with a yen for lush and dreamy music, "With Fifty Italian Strings" is the album for you. Chet Baker's trumpet soliloquizes over the aforementioned strings in carefree yet deliberate phrases. His voice glides smoothly and effortlessly over the legato accompaniment, while the arrangements are never too dense, weighty or dramatic.
In the summer of 1955, Chet Baker decided to go on a concert tour of Europe for a few weeks. He ended up staying there for more than six months, and his work and experiences during that time, which was mostly spent in Paris, should be crucial for his career and his life.
Concord Music Group will release five new titles in its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, several bonus tracks on nearly each disc (some previously unreleased) and new liner notes providing historical context to the original material, the series celebrates the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records, the prolific New York-based label that showcased some of the most influential jazz artists and recordings of the 1950s and '60s.
Chet Baker's personalized style was well served later in his life, and as his days in Europe were more conducive to his personal lifestyle, it also gave his music a chamber-like quality while maintaining modern mainstream values. Broken Wing is a combination of the two aspects of Baker's understated romanticism, the deep-seeded pain through his drug abuse and the humanity that lies underneath the rough-hewn surface of his tattered heart. ~ AllMusic