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Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker by James GavinThe wild ride of the most romanticized icon in jazz is thrillingly recounted in this first major biography.
From his emergence in the 1950s—when an uncannily beautiful young man from Oklahoma appeared on the West Coast to become, seemingly overnight, the prince of “cool” jazz—until his violent, drug-related death in Amsterdam in 1988, Chet Baker lived a life that has become an American myth. Now, drawing on hundreds of interviews and previously untapped sources, James Gavin gives a hair-raising account of the trumpeter’s dark journey.
The story of Baker’s demise—a heretofore unsolved riddle—is revealed here at last. So is the truth behind his tormented childhood, the pain of which haunted his entire life. Gavin explores the birth of the melancholy trumpet playing, the fragile tenor voice, and the otherworldly personal aura that catapulted Baker to fame. Sexy, angelic, needy, and forbidding all at once, Baker became known as the James Dean of jazz. Like Dean, he struck a note of menace in the staid fifties: behind his ultracool, handsome façade lay something ominous, unspoken. The mystery drove both sexes crazy. But his only real romance, apart from music, was with drugs. And in mesmerizing detail, Gavin narrates the harrowing spiral of dependency down which Baker tumbled, dragging with him those who dared get close.
From his golden promise to his eventual destruction, Baker’s life mirrored America’s fall from postwar innocence. Deep in a Dream is the portrait of a musician whose singular artistry and mystique have never lost their power to enchant and seduce us.
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What Happened, Man?
Jazz has a habit of promoting legends, particularly about its best musicians. So it's no surprise that the new film, Born To Be Blue , takes the narrative of part of Chet Baker's life and turns it into a story, one that's an even better story than reality. Baker's biography is inherently glamorous if not an example that you'd want your children to follow. There's Baker's alternately romantic and tragic long-term addiction to heroin which slowly turned him into a wraith of his original crew-cut, handsome self. There's his mysterious death in , falling from a window of a cheap Amsterdam hotel. There's the early photos of Baker by famed jazz photographer William Claxton, whose camera turned Baker into movie-star handsome — helped by Baker's instinctive style and ability to play to that camera.
Sign in. Chet Baker started his career in the late forties.
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When was it written and how was it discovered?, Rock'n'roll reprobates from Keef to Kurt and beyond pale into pasty-faced insignificance when compared with the James Dean of jazz, the trumpeter Chet Baker. As a new biography published next week makes clear, Chesney Henry Baker Jnr — who died in aged 58 when he fell or was pushed through an Amsterdam hotel window — had a monkey on his back of gorilla-like proportions.
Behind extraordinary ideas, there are extraordinary people. Dumbo Feather is a magazine about these people. The outskirts of LA, a cemetery near the airport. The thrill is gone, my funny valentine, that smooth, softly smoked voice, the lament of his trumpet. You fall in love with it.
Swinging into the parking lot, he walked in, got a beer, and sat down at a table right in front of the stage. Chet, Remember me? Yeah, I do , man. In Boston. In , Baker was jumped by multiple assailants outside a San Francisco jazz club.