It Could Happen To You: Chet Baker Sings From Craft Is Another AAA Reissue Great

Chet Baker was 29 years old when he recorded this album of vocals with occasional trumpet back in the summer of 1958 released today, 61 years later for RSD Black Friday.. He sounds like a kid. Actually you could argue he sounds positively girl-ish, which back then must have driven them pretty crazy—even crazier than did his chiseled, pugilistic face.

He's the epitome of cool on this set of standards as is the piano backing provided by the very young Kenny Drew who plays on every track. Philly Joe Jones plays drums on most tracks, with Mingus time keeper Danny Richmond on four tracks. George Morrow and Sam Jones play bass. As soothing and enjoyable are Baker's cool vocals, if you pay attention to Drew's sensitive backing, you're in for an equally enjoyable ride.

The tunes include "I'm Old Fashioned", "You're Driving Me Crazy", "My Heart Stood Still", "Everything Happens to Me" and from "Finian's Rainbow" "That Old Devil Moon".

The sound is mono-sensational with Baker closely miked, dry and unadorned by whatever primitive effects were then available. The richness and roundness heard is strictly a function of Baker's vocal timbre and the microphone's character. The piano and drum sound are equally "just right" and the mix is ideal.

Mastered by Kevin Gray, cut from tape, pressed at RTI and packaged in Stoughton tip-on jacket, Chet Baker Sings.... is everything you want in a reissue, sonically and musically. A late night Cognac delight.

gmeese34's picture

Is this the same version that will be in the Chet Riverside box? Or at least the same stamper?

Intermediate Listener's picture

Obtained last copy at Seattle’s Silver Platters on RSD Black Friday

AnalogJ's picture

Michael, relisten to this and pay attention to the piano. You will likely hear warble in the piano.

My copy is perfectly flat and centered. Recently, many reissues coming out of Cohearant, with mastering by Kevin Gray, have exhibited this problem, most notable on the Tone Poet Black Fire reissue and the Blue Note 80th Anniversary Inventions and Dimensions. There are others as well.

Interestingly, I have dozens of Music Mastered and Analogue Productions reissues that exhibit none of the warbling. It seems to have just arisen with reissues from this year.

Another interesting thing to note, though, is that not all ears that have listened to examples of the warbling have heard the problem. Yet graphic evidence using soundwave samples visually show that the problem exists.

In any event, while this Chet Baker LP reissue is tonally excellent, it differed from that occasional warble. If you're able to detect it, you'll hear it in the chords of the piano on the first track. It's not constant, but it occurs throughout the record.