When this Sunday afternoon get-together was recorded at The Lighthouse in the fall of 1953, young Chet Baker was a household name because of his success with Gerry Mulligan. His group with pianist Russ Freeman was about to become one of the hottest attractions in jazz. That summer they had recorded the quartet dates that included "Isn't It Romantic" and "Maid in Mexico" and were weeks away from the "Happy Little Sunbeam" session and Baker's first vocal recordings. Here, he's one of a group of horn players in a jam session, a situation that discloses a musician's skills along with his uncertainties. In Baker's playing here, both are heard. At his peak, as he often was that day, he is magnificent. On fire with the hot inspiration of Freeman and drummer Max Roach in "Winter Wonderland," his power and originality are stunning.
Loaded, I'll Remember April, Winter Wonderland, Pirouette, Witch Doctor
with Rolf Ericson, Bud Shank, Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Cooper, Russ Freeman, Claude Williamson, Howard Rumsey, Max Roach, Shelly Manne