Stan Getz & Chet Baker: Stan Meets Chet

Trumpeter Baker was in no state to play on this single occasion when he and saxophonist Getz recorded together in the studio


This was the only time that Stan Getz and Chet Baker recorded together in a studio, and it really was a lacklustre affair. Apparently there was no time to rehearse so a programme of common-denominator standards was selected together with Getz’s Half-Breed Apache. The latter was clearly a reference to a brave who had drifted in from the Cherokee reservation.

Norman Granz selected a local rhythm section with Jodie Christian and Marshall Thompson making their recording debut. The horns only play together on I’ll Remember April and Apache so this was hardly a meeting of minds because the trumpeter is missing in action on Jordu.

This was not Baker’s finest hour; according to Matthew Ruddick’s Funny Valentine biography, “Baker was in no fit state to record. On the opening track he had to be woken from the sofa to take his solo.” He seems to be coasting, unable to find anything meaningful to play particularly towards the end of April.

Stan Getz is his usual authoritative self, quite uninhibited by what might have been going on in the studio. One of Granz’s favourite devices – the ballad medley – finds him at his lyrical best on What’s New. Elsewhere he displays a rich vein of ideas whenever he is centre stage, which he is most of the time. This could have been a fascinating encounter if Chet Baker had turned up in a condition to play. It’s here reissued on coloured vinyl.

I’ll Remember April; Ballad Medley – Autumn In New York, Embraceable You, What’s New?; Jordu; Half-Breed Apache (50.18)
Baker (t); Getz (ts); Jodie Christian (p); Victor Sproles (b); Marshall Thompson (d). Chicago, 16 February 1958.
Waxtime In Colour 950745