Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker

Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker

by James Gavin
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Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker by James Gavin

The wild ride of the most romanticized icon in jazz is thrillingly recounted in this first major biography.

From his emergence in the 1950s—when an uncannily beautiful young man from Oklahoma appeared on the West Coast to become, seemingly overnight, the prince of “cool” jazz—until his violent, drug-related death in Amsterdam in 1988, Chet Baker lived a life that has become an American myth. Now, drawing on hundreds of interviews and previously untapped sources, James Gavin gives a hair-raising account of the trumpeter’s dark journey.

The story of Baker’s demise—a heretofore unsolved riddle—is revealed here at last. So is the truth behind his tormented childhood, the pain of which haunted his entire life. Gavin explores the birth of the melancholy trumpet playing, the fragile tenor voice, and the otherworldly personal aura that catapulted Baker to fame. Sexy, angelic, needy, and forbidding all at once, Baker became known as the James Dean of jazz. Like Dean, he struck a note of menace in the staid fifties: behind his ultracool, handsome façade lay something ominous, unspoken. The mystery drove both sexes crazy. But his only real romance, apart from music, was with drugs. And in mesmerizing detail, Gavin narrates the harrowing spiral of dependency down which Baker tumbled, dragging with him those who dared get close.

From his golden promise to his eventual destruction, Baker’s life mirrored America’s fall from postwar innocence. Deep in a Dream is the portrait of a musician whose singular artistry and mystique have never lost their power to enchant and seduce us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569769034
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 550,568
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

James Gavin is the author of Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne and Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, and the Huffington Post.

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Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a tragic portrait of a man who loved his drugs more then his music yet he continued to make beautiful music throughout his life. Chet Baker was a tragic soul who only lived for one thing and that was his high for the day. For thirty-five years, he constantly abused himself with cocaine and herion. It was amazing he did not die sooner in life. James Gavin really goes into two sides of who Chet Baker was. The musician and the junkie. From his early poster-boy years in the 1950's to the hollow faced-man that he ended up as, Gavin balances the two and goes into detail about how Baker was raised and the problems he constantly had with relationships. Through it all, Baker still emerged as a inovator of "cool" jazz and a well respected jazz artist. Today he is more popular then he ever was when he was living.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago