Chet Baker, more than ten years after his mysterious death, is more popular than ever. Baker was an extremely handsome young man and this, coupled with his reckless, drug-addled life, earned him the tag the James Dean of Jazz. But even after he lost his looks, Baker's trumpet and vocals continued to spellbind. Jazz snobs like to forget that Charlie Parker chose Baker to be his West Coast foil or that it was Dizzy Gillespie who talked Baker into returning to the trumpet in the '70s after his teeth were knocked out. Baker hit the big time at a very young age, with Gerry Mulligan's groundbreaking piano-less quartet that made a name for West Coast jazz. Baker's trumpet style owed a lot to Miles Davis (though, Baker never used a mute and was ashamed when he beat out Clifford Brown in jazz polls) and his pleasant, thin vocals were just as introspective and well-phrased.
Chet Baker Concert Films
Let's Get Lost
Runtime: 1 hr 60 min"Let's Get Lost" is an American documentary film about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker written and directed by Bruce Weber. The title is derived from a song by Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser from the 1943 film Happy Go Lucky which Baker recorded for Pacific Records. A group of Baker fans, ranging from ex-associates to ex-wives and children, talk about the man. Weber’s film traces the man’s career from the 1950s, playing with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, and Russ Freeman, to the 1980s, when his heroin addiction and domestic indifference kept him in Europe.
Chet Baker Top Tracks
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 43 minJazz Legends - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (1929-1943) by Duke Ellington, includes a series of short films made in Hollywood featuring Ellington performing his biggest hits: Black And Tan (1929) directed by Dudley Murphy; Check and Double Check (1930) directed by Melville Brown; Symphony in Black (1934) directed by Fred Waller; Paramount Pictoral No.889 (1937); The Hit Parade of 1937; and RKO Jamboree No.7 (1943) directed by Jay Bonafield. .
Epitaph: Live from Lincoln Center
Runtime: 2 hr 20 minOn June 3rd, 1989, the Alice Tully Hall at New York's Lincoln Center was the venue for the world premiere performance of Charles Mingus' masterpiece "Epitaph". Conductor Gunther Schuller directed 30 musicians in what the New York Times described as "One of the most memorable jazz events of the decade". The piece had been discovered after Mingus' death in 1979 and painstakingly restored and copied. It is the largest and longest piece for jazz orchestra ever written and is now available here on film for the first time.
The Life of a Jazz Singer
Runtime: 1 hr 31 minAnita O’Day was one of the greatest of American jazz singers and this is her astonishing story—a journey of survival, and above all the endurance of her talent, told in a number of frank interviews with her and with those who knew her. Her career was long and eventful, spanning seven decades, her last album recorded when she was 84. Anita O’Day only ever wanted to be a singer and the film showcases performances that date back to the 50s with such artists as Gene Krupa, Roy Eldridge, Stan Kenton, Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael. She is shown teaching Billy Taylor how to be a jazz vocalist. She speaks candidly, always candidly, with Dick Cavett, Bryant Gumble and David Frost, with clips from interviews done on 60 Minutes and CBS This Morning. Bert Stern, commenting on his experience filming Anita perform Sweet Georgia Brown for his film Jazz on a Summer’s Day, said it was the greatest rendition of the song ever made. Anita was a musical genius and pioneer who broke reverse race barriers. She was commonly regarded as one of the top female artists of her time, together with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. The film portrays her as a woman who lived her life the way she wanted without ever looking back. She speaks openly about how she had to overcome great adversities, including a 20-year addiction to heroin and alcohol. She chose never to have children and married for only a brief period. She lived an often lonely life that was sustained only by her passion for music. Personalities talk about her quirky personality, while jazz critics and her few still living contemporaries speak of her extraordinary talent and how amazing it is that she continued to sing for so long. The film shows Anita on tour in Europe well into her eighties and her making that final recording, shortly before her death, the death of an icon.
Live In Rio
Runtime: 1 hr 50 minDiana Krall has had a long time fascination with bossa nova, a type of music which perfectly suits her sophisticated yet sensual style. This culminated in her new studio album "Quiet Nights" (released by Verve in spring 2009) and in this stunning concert filmed in the home of the bossa nova, Rio de Janeiro, in November 2008. Accompanied by her band and an orchestra, Diana Krall delivers a superb set of standards in true bossa nova style but clearly bearing her unique stamp. This program captures Diana Krall at her scintillating best.
Live at Montreux 1976
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minNina Simone one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century, made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This film features the whole of the performance from 1976 as the main item, which is supplemented as bonus features by two tracks from her concert in 1987 and four from her final show in 1990. This is the definitive Nina Simone live film.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 50 minJazz Icons: Dave Brubeck boasts two beautifully filmed concerts from one of the most beloved quartets in jazz history. Captured at the pinnacle of their power and popularity, Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano) explore the trails they blazed into the realm of odd time signatures with “Forty Days” and two versions of their groundbreaking hit “Take Five,” as well as forays into world music with two unique interpretations of “Koto Song.” Their intimate onstage chemistry and impeccable musicianship made the DBQ an award-winning jazz supergroup. Features: 24-page booklet; liner notes by Darius Brubeck; foreword by Doug Ramsey; cover photo by Gus Schuettler; booklet photos by Chuck Stewart, Lee Tanner, Jan Persson, Susanne Schapowalow, and Ray Avery; memorabilia collage; much more! 67 minutes.
Alto Saxophone Jazz Solos
Runtime: 50 minOne of the most individual of all alto saxophone players, the cool-toned LEE KONITZ has always had a strong musical curiosity that has led him to consistently take chances and stretch himself, usually quite successfully. The Jazz Sessions spotlights unaccompanied performances by some of the legends and bright young stars of the jazz world. Designed and recorded specifically for television, SOLOS offers viewers front row seats for an intimate and unique jazz experience. Each program features complete musical pieces, insightful interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. Shot in stunning HDTV with multiple moving cameras and a medley of elegant cinematic lighting, SOLOS showcases an exciting and dynamic variety of jazz styles - from the blues and boogie-woogie to bebop and the experimental.
Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue
Runtime: 1 hr 27 minWhen he released "Bitches Brew" in 1970, Miles Davis opened up a new angle to jazz which stirred up emotions like no other record before. Some critics accused Davis of selling out, while the public bought it like crazy. It is one of the most examined albums of all time, even garnering a box set of the sessions. To date, "Bitches Brew" is one of the top selling jazz albums of all time. "Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue" examines the next step in the creative process...performing these songs live. The 1970 Isle of Wight featured an array of performers from The Who to Jethro Tull to Joni Mitchell. With improvisation playing a big role in the performance, the band (Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Gary Bartz and Dave Holland) had to be "on", yet ready to change on the fly. Directed by award-winning producer Murray Lerner, "Miles Electric" sits down with several of the performers who played with Miles, interspersed with his 1970 Isle of Wight performance, as well as artists such as Carlos Santana and Joni Mitchell, who describe the impact Miles Davis had towards music.