Sunday, February 05, 2006

chet baker...."But Not for Me"

One of my top 5 albums of all time. Definitely worth listening to over and over again. This album is a very mellow album, the drums are only played on a small portion of this album, he plays with a lot of color and melodic liberty. Because the drums aren't present, the players are much more in tune with eachother mentally, a sort of telepathy. He starts out with a great tune called "Lament." Again, this is one of my favorite works of chet. he begins with just piano and flugel on the beautiful melody. soon a flute takes over and improvises a very emotional, heart wrenching solo, beautifully played. I think the greatest thing on this album is the communication between the players. While this flute solo is being played, the piano is adding to and finishing many of the floutists thoughts and feelings, adding much more meat to the music. As the flugel solo comes in, chet finishes the floutists line (sometimes called by jazz artists "shitting on your neighbor") but does it in a very artistic fashion rather than showing off his ability. Chet was a genius, he didn't know much about the theory when he started, he played mostly by ear; he was a natural.

the next tune, Four, starts with him singing only accompanied by the bass. the first solo, a baritone solo. this doesn't occur much in jazz so it throws the listener for quite the twist. The group in this song is great about constantly changing the texture so the listener stays alert. He plays his solo with just a bass playing underneath him with the occasional line from the baritone player.

Tune for Lyons- this tune brings up the tempo and energy of the album a bit and is similar in texture and soloist rarity as the tune before it.

Ellen David- this is a great ballad. the greatest thing about this is that you can't tell chet is actually soloing. His playing is so lyrical and well thought out that it sounds precomposed. Only by knowing the tune can one understand that he's actually improvising.

But not for me- the title track. This tune begins with a piano solo, again not something largely popular, but I love it. The bass line is especially great here, perfectly complements where the piano solo is headed. Soon thereafter, chet comes in and sings the melody as the piano perfectly compliments his lyricism. The communication is awesome! he then plays a great scat solo. I love it when he scats because he only uses the word "dit, dat, dut" or something like that. its so simple, his melody is impeccable. The bass then breaks out a rhythmically virtuostic solo.

The last tune, a latin(ish) ballad, is another great tune with so much to learn from. He begins with a duet with the piano. again, all aspects of musical expertise are present on this track, he never gets boring.

I love this album, there's never a dull moment. his innovation, color, and melody are great. many don't respect him because his lines are not burning fast and full of notes, but not many could play with the passion and though that he could. I strongly reccommend this album to anyone who likes...music.

-yours truly.

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