JLP 18
Chet Baker in Milan

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CHET BAKER SEXTET & QUARTET(*): Chet Baker (tp) Glauco Masetti (as) Gianno Basso (ts) Renato Sellani (p) Franco Serri (b) Gene Victory (drs) with arrangements by Giulio Libano 

   Recorded in Milan, Italy: October , 1959


SIDE 1

1. Lady Bird (4:44) (Tadd Dameron)

2. Cheryl Blues (4:59) (Charlie Parker)

3. Tune Up (5:17) (Miles Davis)

4. Line For Lyons (7:48) (Gerry Mulligan)

SIDE 2

1. Pent Up House (4:59) (Sonny Rollins)

2. Look for the Silver Lining (4:39) (Kern-DeSylva)

3. Indian Summer (5:14) (Victor Herbert) (*)

4. My Old Flame (4:57) (Coslow-Johnson) (*)


   Europe has time and again proven to be a most friendly home for American musicians – you can begin with the major reception given to the Ellington band back in the early 1930s, long before they had gained any comparable acclaim at home, and you can go on from there right up to the present. The fans have been warmly receptive, the critics often surprisingly perceptive (considering how comparatively little of American jazz they have heard in person), and the musicians invariably eager to learn and to develop along the latest American jazz lines. While there have not as yet been any original contributions or major artists produced in Europe, nevertheless the surroundings have often led our own musicians to feel more comfortable, less harried (and consequently, perhaps, able to play even more effectively) than they do back home.

   Something of the sort took place late in 1959 when CHET BAKER took off for an extended stay in Italy, Germany, France and assorted such places. His first stop was Italy, where, it turns out, his richly lyrical trumpet tones have been listened to with they very highest regard and affection ever since the celebrated 1952 Gerry Mulligan Quartet sides – which catapulted Chet to instant fame and poll-winning success on the American jazz scene – first crossed the ocean.

   To celebrate Baker’s arrival in Milan, an Italian label organized a small-band date, utilizing an Italian arranger and local musicians who (on the evidence of this album obviously not only ‘dig’ the West Coast horn star but also have a solid knowledge of some of the very best of the American modern-jazz repertoire. Chet is clearly in relaxed and strong form as he joins with them on five tunes that (as noted above) represent five of the most formidable writing musicians of the late ‘40s and ‘50s, plus a solid Jerome Kern standard, Silver Lining; and then takes off with just the rhythm section o two more of the better standards.

   “Chet Baker in Milan” is definitely Chet Baker in a friendly land, and playing in a way that shows he knows it.

   The personnel on hand here includes: Glauco Masetti (alto sax), Gianno Basso (tenor sax), Renato Sellani (piano), Franco Serri (bass), and Gene Victory (drums), with arrangements by Guilio Libano.

   Recent JAZZLAND releases include:

The Fourth Herd – Woody Herman Orchestra, with Nat Adderley, Zoot Sims – JLP 17 & Stereo 917S

Organ-izing – Mel Rhyne, organ; with Blue Mitchell, Johnny Griffin, Gene Harris – JLP 16 & Stereo 916S

East Coast sounds – Tony Scott, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn – JLP 11


Notes by PETER DREW

Cover designed by PAUL BACON – KEN BRAREN – HARRIS LEWINE

Back-liner photo by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK


Produced by Orpheum Productions, Inc.

235 West 46th Street, New York, New York 10036