Prof. P. Evans
February 18, 2012
CD Recommendation #1 : Chet Baker: Chet Baker Sings (1954)
The album I have chosen to review is Chet Baker's critically acclaimed cool jazz album 'Chet Baker sings. I have previously heard a couple of numbers from this musician, such as his famous rendition of the the track 'My Buddy' but have never listened to one of this artists albums. I decided to give him a chance and was delighted. Upon my initial listening I was greeted by the sounds of a muffled trumpet, a light jazz piano, soft brushes on a snare, and the smooth tone of Chet Baker's voice. These sounds being produced on the albums first track titled 'But Not For Me', felt very easy to listen to, and highly enjoyable in a relaxed evening setting. The lyrics come through crystal clear not a word can be missed at the soft pace in which Baker sings. The content of most of the lyrics speak of lost love in a very calming and melancholy nature. The theme of lost love, is the largest recurrence of the album that I noticed during my first listen. Save for a couple tracks, the tone of the album always seems to be about the main figure of the songs falling in love too easily, getting hurt just as easily, and the mourning of past love. The first track to really stand out to me on the album to me was the song 'My Funny Valentine' with it's absence of the muffled horn that appears on most of the tracks, and the bass seeming more poignant than ever.
But most of all what stood out to me was the lyrical nature of the song. Baker discusses love he holds for a woman that would not be able to be called classically beautiful, that no matter this woman’s appearance he still holds her dear, and that he would be offended he she attempted to change her appearance for him. I found this to be very refreshing for an artist of his time to discuss love as something...