EXCLUSIVE COVER BY PHOTOGRAPHER JEAN-PIERRE LELOIR
Chet Baker recorded Chet Is Back! on January 5, 1962, just three weeks after having been released from his drug-related imprisonment in Italy. He was accompanied on the LP by a number of highly talented European players, among them two Belgian stars: tenor saxophonist, flutist and composer Bobby Jaspar, and guitarist René Thomas. Both musicians had their own drug problems (Jaspar would die from a heart attack on February 28, 1963, at the age of 37; Thomas would follow on January 3, 1975, aged 47).
Baker didn’t sing on this album, which features him performing spirited trumpet solos. Matt Collar gave the LP a four-star rating in AllMusic Guide. “Recorded in Italy in 1962,” wrote Collar, “Chet Is Back! showcases the ‘cool’ trumpeter cutting loose on such bop-oriented workouts as ‘Pent-Up House’ and ‘Well, You Needn’t’. Backed skillfully by a young cadre of up-and-coming European musicians, including the stellar saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Chet Baker may have never sounded better, including the ballads. One listen to ‘Over the Rainbow’ and it’s clear this is an overlooked Baker classic.”
CHET BAKER, trumpet
BOBBY JASPAR, tenor sax & flute
RENÉ THOMAS, guitar
AMEDEO TOMMASI, piano
BENOÎT QUERSIN, bass
DANIEL HUMAIR, drums
Rome, Italy, January 5, 1962.