When the first recordings of Gerry Mulligan 's quartet with the young and unknown trumpeter Chet Baker were published in 1952, it was an immediate success, with critics and the public alike. So much so that Chet won the Down Beat magazine critics' referendum in the "new star" category. And when the trumpeter decided to set up on his own and revealed his singing talents in a very personal version of My Funny Valentine a few months later, the “ Chet Baker craze ” exploded.
However, this white musician with the “angel face”, adored by America, but also jealous by some of his peers, would from that moment lead the turbulent and noisy existence of an artist dependent on drugs. , and nothing will be spared him: arrests, judgments, prison, beatings, expulsions, unemployment, odd jobs, until “lady luck” smiles on him again in the early seventies.
These two CDs retrace the feats of arms of the artist's first period, the one where Chet revealed to the world the unalterable virtues of his playing and his talent: simplicity and contained emotion.