Crystal Bells

Crystal Bells

by Chet Baker

CD

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Overview

Crystal Bells

This 1983 studio date, titled Crystal Bells here yet previously released under other titles, features trumpet Chet Baker performing within a trio setting with the Belgian duo of guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. Although famously known as an intuitive musician who played by ear, by the '80s Baker's improvisation had coalesced into a beautifully logical, root harmony-based style in which one can discern the exact progressions of any given tune simply by listening to him. Here, his lines connect, turn by turn, melody upon melody like a pastel jigsaw puzzle forming before your eyes. Subsequently, Baker thrived in the company of the like-minded Belgians, whose bop-inflected technical prowess on their instruments was also matched by their deft sense for melodicism and sympathetic group interplay. As accompanists alone, they're superb cohorts for the jazz legend, hanging their ears on each of his notes, outlining the harmonies behind him, and buoying his soft, lyrical phrases. There are also subtle stylistic juxtapositions within the trio with Catherine's choice of electric, amplified guitar allowing for the occasional foray into country twang, or ambient, fusion-infused colorations. Similarly, though, Rassinfosse's velvety double-bass lines reveal the influence of the impressionistic tone of Ron Carter, and he never fails to imply a clipped rhythmic pulse; a necessary skill in the drummerless setting Baker often favored in his later years. Ultimately, Crystal Bells is an absolutely magical session with inspired performances that still ring true so many years after Baker's passing.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2014
Label: Igloo Records
UPC: 5410547150345
catalogNumber: 34
Rank: 12775

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