The beloved yet infamous Chet Baker—trumpeter, crooner, junkie, and doomed James Dean-like icon of 1950s jazz—has always projected an air of mystery (and even more so, perhaps, in the years since his death in the late 1980s). In these recently uncovered diary-entries, the mystery fades as we find that Baker's pure trumpeting, aching vocals, and now-classic renditions of many jazz standards all belie the turmoil of a wretched private life governed by addiction and abandon.
Baker dominated the jazz scene of the 1950s, working closely with the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, and Stan Kenton. By the Sixties, however, he found himself caught in an incessantly downward spiral of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs. In and out of jail, in and out of relationships, criss-crossing the Atlantic, looking for gigs in the States and in Europe, searching of some sort of redemption—such is the life we encounter firsthand in these pages.
This memoir is must-reading for all students of jazz history and modern American pop culture.
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Chet Baker, poster child for West Coast Cool Jazz and patron saint of its notorious lush life, kept a diary. Published by his estate and introduced by his widow, his entries have been tailored to a memoir of his life from 1946 to 1963. These are the years of his rise to stardom in music and movies--and his tumble into the trenches of incarceration and drug abuse. The book is divided into 13 quick-reading chapters in which Baker writes of his life as a musician, all seasoned with tales of drugs, prison terms, and a laundry list of romances. Often, though, his writings are not spicy enough; births, deaths, pregnancies, and car chases are noted without much detail. What must have been extremely charged times are written about with a kind of academic disinterest: "Moving quickly toward the noise, as did everyone else, I saw Dick lying on the floor. He had passed out cold, and several people were trying to figure out what was wrong with him. We located a doctor and cleared the stage area. I should point out that Dick had always taken care of business; always at work on time and always playing exceptionally." While some readers may be disappointed by the lack of layered passion one hears in Baker's voice or in the smooth and solid sound of his horn, there is still considerable value in reading his own account of his story.From the Publisher:
"Only a handful of autobiographies have truly represented the rigors of jazz life. Add to [this] short list As Though I Had Wings." --The Los Angeles Times
"This is a sad, sweet book that reads like one of Chet Baker's trumpet solos...His memories show the same eye for hedonistic detail that he had in his music." --The Seattle Times
"As Though I Had Wings captures dead-on the trumpeter's legendary melancholy." --Independent Weekly
"One of the finest soloists jazz has produced...At every step in both his music and his life Chet Baker went his own way." --Ted Gioia, West Coast Jazz
"This poignant remembrance...captures West Coast jazz in the fifties...Unforgettable." --Timothy White, Editor in Chief of Billboard
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Descrizione libro Phoenix, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: Used; Acceptable. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Codice libro della libreria 2501157
Descrizione libro Phoenix, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: Good. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Codice libro della libreria mon0007272903
Descrizione libro Indigo, London, 1998. Pictorial Card Covers. Condizione libro: Very Good. First Thus. 118pp Facsimile written text interspersed. Codice libro della libreria 007123