Where people listen
Why ‘Threads’ Is Everything We Ever Loved About Sheryl Crow, And More
He was a cult figure whose well-publicized struggles with drug addiction curtailed a promising career. Born in Oklahoma and reared in California from age 10, Baker began playing trumpet in his school band. He played in U. Many fans and critics felt that Baker, with his popularity and good looks, could have been a movie star. His life became increasingly unstable during the late s, however, as he became increasingly governed by his heroin addiction. Subsequent tours of Europe during the early s resulted in numerous legal problems for Baker: his drug habit led to arrests, prison sentences, and confinement in a sanatorium. His playing became erratic throughout the decade, and he underwent something of a critical backlash from those who felt that Baker was too often praised for the beauty of his tone and too seldom chastised for his technical limitations. With the aid of methadone, Baker made a gradual comeback during the s. Despite his history of indulgence and excess, his improvisation became more glib, his attack more forceful, and his tone more intimate. He was at something of a musical peak when he died after falling from a hotel room window in Amsterdam on May 13,
Chesney Henry Baker Jr. December 23, — May 13, was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for his major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre leading him to be nicknamed the "prince of cool". Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals Chet Baker Sings , It Could Happen to You. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late s and '80s. Baker was born and raised in a musical household in Yale , Oklahoma. His father, Chesney Baker Sr.
When the body of Chet Baker was found, crumpled and bloodied, on an Amsterdam pavement on Friday, 13 May , beneath the third-floor window of the hotel where he was staying, at first no one recognised him. Years of drugs and alcohol abuse had rendered the year-old unrecognisable from the clean-cut young man who, in the early 50s, with his chiselled good looks, was perceived as the iconic poster boy for West Coast cool jazz. Born Chesney Henry Baker, on 23 December , in Yale, Oklahoma, Baker was drawn to music at a young age, aided by the fact that he was born into a musical family his father had once been a professional guitarist and his mother played piano. In , when he was 16, Baker joined the US army, where he honed his horn skills playing in military bands. On leaving the army, in , he set up camp in Los Angeles and started playing in jazz clubs on the West Coast. He soon started to make a name for himself with a lyrical trumpet sound influenced by Miles Davis and which proved the perfect foil for the more effusive style of saxophonists Stan Getz and Charlie Parker , with whom Baker played in the early 50s. The unorthodox set up allowed its two horn players more harmonic freedom, however, and prompted them to play intertwining contrapuntal melodies.