Chet Baker - Broken Wing

One of the most popular jazz trumpeters and singers of all time, Chet Baker was a matinee idol in the 1950s and an underground legend in the 1980s. He first came to fame with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952, leading his own groups from then on. Baker’s cool-toned trumpet and vulnerable-sounding vocals made him a living legend. Drug problems plagued his life and caused several gaps in his career, but he made several comebacks and did some of his finest playing during 1975-88 when he lived in Europe.

Broken Wing features Chet Baker in excellent form in 1979, performing with pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Jean Francois-Jenny Clark and drummer Jeff Brillinger, Baker stretches out on a song apiece by Richard Beirach and Wayne Shorter, revives “How Deep Is The Ocean” and “Oh You Crazy Moon” (which has his only vocal of the date), and performs his wistful original “Blue Gilles.” Broken Wing is a fine example of how Chet Baker sounded during his final period and will delight his many fans.

SKU: IC1120

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Broken Wing features Baker in excellent form back in 1979. Phil Markowitz was one of the most sympathetic pianists who worked with the trumpeter during his later years, bassist Jean-Francois Jenny Clark proves to be superb both as a soloist and as an accompanist, and Jeff Brillinger gives Baker just the swinging support and interplay that he needs. The repertoire is fresh, consisting of two standards that are not played all that often anymore (Baker's voice is in better-than-usual shape during "Oh You Crazy Moon," his lone vocal) and a song apiece by Richi Beirach, Wayne Shorter and the trumpeter himself (the wistful "Blue Gilles").

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Chet Baker
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Jean Francois-Jenny Clark and drummer Jeff Brillinger
SKU IC1120


Customer Reviews (2)

This wing Flies HighReview by Big Toots
IC 1120 “Broken Wing” - Chet Baker

The late Leon Breeden, a noted jazz educator would regularly advise and caution his students to remember that “jazz is a music – not a lifestyle.” The obvious idea was to alert young minds about the temptations and dangers of those behavioral excesses that so many great jazz artists foolishly embraced. That was the temptation of Satan – drug and booze-induced jazz greatness. Certainly, Chet Baker, for all his genius, would be near the head of that class of “desired” undesirables - personae non grata whom to emulate only musically.

With Broken Wing – that’s such an appropriate title for a Baker side, don’t you think? – Chet and an marvelous rhythm section superbly cover a mere handful of selections with all of the usual Baker trademarks – the emotionally-charged romantic ballads both played and voiced (although only one is sung here), the Harmon-muted trumpet, vibrato-less long tones beckoning like mythological Sirens. It’s all here and more. And, he deals all up to us in musical spades.

Recorded in 1979, Baker’s chops on this session are still together, enabling him to nuance both rhythmically and dynamically. His trumpet is as mellow – and vulnerable-sounding - as ever. So is his voice, which he employs masterfully only on one cut - a slower take of “Oh, You Crazy Moon,” a selection he’d performed at a faster tempo many times before. Richie Beirach’s title tune kicks things off and sets the tone for the date with Baker muting and musing above Phil Markowitz’s understated comps and terrific solo foray. On Wayne Shorter’s “Black Eyes” Baker’s timing is impeccable, playing a hair just behind the beat, creating that tension that magnetizes. On his original, “Blue Gilles,” an 11-plus-minute excursion into a wistful, azure mood, Baker is laid-back and thoroughly in control, even as he flitters into his upper register where danger lurks. Bassist Jean-Francois Jenny Clark is superb here, as he is across the session. On “How Deep is the Ocean,” Irving Berlin’s romantic masterwork for the Ages, Chet moves all into a swinging take out. Highlights are Markowitz’s, Jenny Clark’s and Jeff Brillinger’s fine solo rides.

Broken Wing is a superior musical flight in which its pilot yet again certifies his genius as one to behold, not follow his behavioral path.
(Posted on 4/25/2015)
Broken WingReview by Simon Sez
With his crazy life, it is amazing that Chet Baker lived as long as he did. And what was most remarkable was how well he was playing trumpet in his later years. Broken Wing from 1979 has Baker still sounding really good.

Joined by a rhythm section that includes pianist Phil Markowitz, Baker is in excellent form on Broken Wing, and even his singing on “Oh You Crazy Moon” is good. Chet Baker’s many fans will be delighted with this record.

Simon Sez: Chet Baker on Broken Wing (IC1120) from 1979 is in excellent form both on trumpet and singing “Oh You Crazy Moon." (Posted on 5/6/2014)

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