Trumpeter Chet Baker
Trumpeter ~Singer
birth name: Chesney Henry Baker, Jr.

Chet Baker

December 23, 1929, Yale, OK ~ May 13, 1988, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

“Well if I could play like Wynton, I wouldn't play like Wynton.” ~ Chet Baker

Chet Baker was a primary exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-'50s. As a trumpeter, he had a generally restrained, intimate playing style and he attracted attention beyond jazz for his photogenic looks and singing. ~ Allmusic: Chet Baker ~ retrieved December 17, 2013 © Allmusic

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Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

December 23, 1995 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) LL Cool J, Hey Lover ~ #2 (2) Whitney Houston, Exhale (Shoop Shoop) ~ #1 (1) Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men


Baker recorded extensively throughout his career. As a result, his discography is considered widely uneven. However, some of Baker's European recordings, made near the end of his career, reveal a more mature and, at times, brilliant talent with simplicity and depth beyond his previous work. Near the end of Baker's life, he resided and played almost exclusively in Europe, returning to the USA about once a year for a few performance dates. On May 13, 1988, he fell (or was pushed) from his second story hotel window in Amsterdam and died. There was speculation that he was under the influence of drugs at the time, however his autopsy revealed that he was sober. There were also rumors that a suicide note was found but is held in private hands. A plaquette outside the Prins Hendrik Hotel memorializes him. Baker's body was brought home for interment in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. ~ All about Jazz: Chet Baker ~ retrieved December 17, 2013 © All About Jazz

Chet Baker ~ Ranked #54 Mojo 100 Greatest Singers in 1998.

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Gerry Mulligan ~ Gerry Mulligan Quartet (1952) ~ Ranked #65 Jazzwise 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World in 2006 ~ Mulligan first made a significant contribution to recorded jazz through his arrangements for Miles' so-called Birth Of The Cool sessions for Capitol, but it was the 1952 pianoless quartet that hit the headlines and made him (as well as trumpeter sidekick Chet Baker) virtually overnight celebrities. ~ 2006 © Jazzwise

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