If you’re a jazz fan, you know the name Chet Baker. He was one of the most influential trumpeters in American jazz history. His unique style and approach to music has inspired countless musicians.
In this blog post, we’ll be looking at some of his best albums of all time. Whether you’re a new fan or a longtime listener, there’s definitely something on this list you’ll love.
Who is Chet Baker?
Before we dive into the list, let’s take a look at who Chet Baker was and what made him so special.
Chet Baker was born in Yale, Oklahoma, in 1929. His father was a trombonist and his mother sang in the local church choir. Baker showed an interest in music from an early age and began playing the piano when he was only six years old. When he was eleven, he began learning to play the trumpet from his father.
In 1946, at the age of seventeen, Baker joined the United States Army Band. He served for two years before being honorably discharged. After his time in the military, Baker moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.
The Life and Legacy of Chet Baker
It was in Los Angeles that Baker’s career began to take off. He quickly became a popular figure in the local jazz scene. In 1953, he made his first recordings as a leader with the Chet Baker Quartet. The band’s self-titled album was released the following year.
Baker continued to release albums throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Some of his most popular albums from this period include Chet (1958), It Could Happen To You (1959), and My Favorite Things (1963).
In 1964, Baker suffered from a serious heroin addiction which caused him to miss several years of performances and recording sessions. However, he eventually returned in the 1970s with a series of albums for the CTI label. These albums featured Baker’s more mature and refined sound.
Throughout her career, Baker has won numerous awards and accolades. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Chet Baker’s Best Albums: A Complete List
Now that we’ve taken a look at who Chet Baker was, let’s dive into our list of his top albums!
This album is considered one of Baker’s best works of his early years. It presents him alongside big names in jazz such as Herbie Mann, Paul Desmond, Pepper Adams, Bill Evans and Philly Joe Jones. The album includes the tracks “Alone Together”, “Look for the Silver Lining” and “But Not For Me”.
It Could Happen to You (1959)
This album is another classic from Baker’s early years. He presents it alongside saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. The album includes the tracks “It Could Happen To You”, “My Funny Valentine”, and “I Get Along Without You Very Well”.
My Favorite Things (1963)
This album was recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. It features Baker performing a mix of standards and original compositions. The album includes the tracks “My Favorite Things”, “‘Round Midnight” and “The Thrill Is Gone”.
She Was Too Good For Me (1974)
This album was recorded during Baker’s comeback in the 1970s. It features him alongside big names such as Ron Carter, George Benson and Jack DeJohnette. The album includes the tracks “She Was Too Good To Me”, “Fair Weather” and “I Remember Clifford”.
The Best of Chet Baker Sings (1986)
This compilation album features some of Baker’s finest vocal performances throughout her career. The album includes the tracks “My Funny Valentine”, “Summertime” and “But Not For Me”.
Songs to listen to if you’re new (to his music)
If you’re new to Chet Baker music, here are some songs we suggest you check out:
- “My Funny Valentine”
- “Look for the Silver Lining”
- “But not for me”
- “I get along very well without you”
- “Alone Together”
- “It could happen to you”
- “She was too nice to me”
- “The Thrill is Gone”
- “Summer time”
More artists like Chet Baker
Other artists Chet Baker fans might enjoy include Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery. If you’re looking for more modern jazz trumpeters, you might want to check out Ambrose Akinmusire or Terence Blanchard.
That wraps up our list of the best Chet Baker albums of all time. We hope you enjoyed it and found something new to listen to. Whether you’re a new fan or a long-time listener, there’s definitely something on this list you’ll love!
Do you have a favorite Chet Baker album? Let us know in the comments below.
Story of Alex Hamilton