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Blue Note Boxes Up Baker and Smith

Blue Note will release box sets from two legends of jazz this fall. (But what else is new?) A three-disc box set compiling work by trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker titled Prince of Cool will be released on Sept. 28 and a four-disc box set that looks back on organist Jimmy Smith (pictured) with Jimmy Smith Retrospective will be released on Oct. 5. Prince of Cool highlights Baker’s performances from 1952-57 while he was recording with Pacific Jazz while Retrospective highlights Smith’s work on Blue Note from 1956-63.
Prince of Cool focuses on three facets of Baker’s career: Disc one, his vocal numbers; disc two, his trumpet-led instrumental numbers; and disc three, his collaborations with musicians like Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and Art Pepper. The set’s liner notes were done by Ted Goia, the author of West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California 1945-1960, who writes in the notes that Baker’s “Pacific Jazz recordings…feature some of the defining moments of [his] career.”

Retrospective is a chronological collection of 38 Smith tunes with liner notes by Bob Blumenthal. Highlights from the set include Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite,” Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman” and Horace Silver’s “The Preacher.”

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