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Chet Baker: The Not-So Dream Life of Chet Baker

Chet Baker

In Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker, author James Gavin gives a no-holds-barred account of the trumpeter/singer/pinup/junkie. Jazz nerds might object to Baker’s music being given what some might call short shrift, but for most of his career the trumpeter’s playing style was as firmly set as his hair in the ’50s: a melodic, mid-register, vocal-like croon that rarely went outside those highly appealing conventions. That’s not where Baker’s most compelling story lies. For nearly 400 pages, Gavin plumbs Baker’s personal life-the difficult childhood and the mysterious death; the triumphs and excesses; the girls and the drugs-and, yes, the tours, records and music.

What results is the most well-rounded, clear-eyed profile of the trumpeter ever put to paper. Deep in a Dream is the definitive bio of Baker, and Gavin’s expertly selected companion CD, released by Blue Note, provides the perfect soundtrack to Baker’s not always so melodic and beautiful life.

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