Music: Quintessence, Volume 1

The Stan Getz Quartet with Chet Baker

There are those (this critic included) who never really got Chet Baker as a singer. Instead of sounding soulful and vulnerably awkward, his voice struck some as sounding soulful but off-key, like Mel Torme's crossed with, say, yours. So here's a Chet Baker album for those who don't like Chet Baker, recorded at a 1983 live date in Norway. It's Getz's gig, but Baker shines, singing with an unaccustomed force and levity; on Just Friends he scats nimbly too. His trumpet and Getz's tenor sax are also in top form; these relaxed, lyrical players have an obvious rapport. Reportedly, they couldn't...

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