Chet Baker, more than ten years after his mysterious death, is more popular than ever. Baker was an extremely handsome young man and this, coupled with his reckless, drug-addled life, earned him the tag the James Dean of Jazz. But even after he lost his looks, Baker's trumpet and vocals continued to spellbind. Jazz snobs like to forget that Charlie Parker chose Baker to be his West Coast foil or that it was Dizzy Gillespie who talked Baker into returning to the trumpet in the '70s after his teeth were knocked out. Baker hit the big time at a very young age, with Gerry Mulligan's groundbreaking piano-less quartet that made a name for West Coast jazz. Baker's trumpet style owed a lot to Miles Davis (though, Baker never used a mute and was ashamed when he beat out Clifford Brown in jazz polls) and his pleasant, thin vocals were just as introspective and well-phrased.
Chet Baker Concert Films
Let's Get Lost
Runtime: 1 hr 60 min"Let's Get Lost" is an American documentary film about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker written and directed by Bruce Weber. The title is derived from a song by Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser from the 1943 film Happy Go Lucky which Baker recorded for Pacific Records. A group of Baker fans, ranging from ex-associates to ex-wives and children, talk about the man. Weber’s film traces the man’s career from the 1950s, playing with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, and Russ Freeman, to the 1980s, when his heroin addiction and domestic indifference kept him in Europe.
Chet Baker Top Tracks
Epitaph: Live from Lincoln Center
Runtime: 2 hr 20 minOn June 3rd, 1989, the Alice Tully Hall at New York's Lincoln Center was the venue for the world premiere performance of Charles Mingus' masterpiece "Epitaph". Conductor Gunther Schuller directed 30 musicians in what the New York Times described as "One of the most memorable jazz events of the decade". The piece had been discovered after Mingus' death in 1979 and painstakingly restored and copied. It is the largest and longest piece for jazz orchestra ever written and is now available here on film for the first time.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 43 minJazz Legends - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (1929-1943) by Duke Ellington, includes a series of short films made in Hollywood featuring Ellington performing his biggest hits: Black And Tan (1929) directed by Dudley Murphy; Check and Double Check (1930) directed by Melville Brown; Symphony in Black (1934) directed by Fred Waller; Paramount Pictoral No.889 (1937); The Hit Parade of 1937; and RKO Jamboree No.7 (1943) directed by Jay Bonafield. .
Live at Montreux 1976
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minNina Simone one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century, made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This film features the whole of the performance from 1976 as the main item, which is supplemented as bonus features by two tracks from her concert in 1987 and four from her final show in 1990. This is the definitive Nina Simone live film.
Alto Saxophone Jazz Solos
Runtime: 50 minOne of the most individual of all alto saxophone players, the cool-toned LEE KONITZ has always had a strong musical curiosity that has led him to consistently take chances and stretch himself, usually quite successfully. The Jazz Sessions spotlights unaccompanied performances by some of the legends and bright young stars of the jazz world. Designed and recorded specifically for television, SOLOS offers viewers front row seats for an intimate and unique jazz experience. Each program features complete musical pieces, insightful interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. Shot in stunning HDTV with multiple moving cameras and a medley of elegant cinematic lighting, SOLOS showcases an exciting and dynamic variety of jazz styles - from the blues and boogie-woogie to bebop and the experimental.
The Miles Davis Story
Runtime: 2 hr 4 minTrumpeter-bandleader Miles Davis (1926-91) was a catalyst for the major innovations in post-bop, cool jazz, hard-bop, and jazz-fusion, and his wispy and emotional trumpet tones were some of the most evocative sounds ever heard. He was also one of the most identifiable and misunderstood pop icons of the 20th century. This engrossing British documentary shows the complex layers of this magnificent and mercurial artist. Through rare footage and interviews, we learn of Davis's middle-class upbringing and his early days with bop legends Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The documentary bluntly deals with Davis's narcotic nadir and his rise from the depths to become a bona fide jazz icon in the mid-'50s to late '60s. But the most penetrating and poignant portraits of Davis come from musicians who played with and were influenced by him, including Shirley Horn, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, and Keith Jarrett.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 50 minJazz Icons: Dave Brubeck boasts two beautifully filmed concerts from one of the most beloved quartets in jazz history. Captured at the pinnacle of their power and popularity, Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano) explore the trails they blazed into the realm of odd time signatures with “Forty Days” and two versions of their groundbreaking hit “Take Five,” as well as forays into world music with two unique interpretations of “Koto Song.” Their intimate onstage chemistry and impeccable musicianship made the DBQ an award-winning jazz supergroup. Features: 24-page booklet; liner notes by Darius Brubeck; foreword by Doug Ramsey; cover photo by Gus Schuettler; booklet photos by Chuck Stewart, Lee Tanner, Jan Persson, Susanne Schapowalow, and Ray Avery; memorabilia collage; much more! 67 minutes.