Seattle and I have got to stop meeting like this. I’m heading back across the Cascades for trumpeter Bobby Shew’s appearance tonight at Tula’s. Coincidentally, a message arrived yesterday evening from Mr. Shew. It was succinct: “Check it out,” followed by a link to this blistering 1981 Chet Baker version of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Blue ‘n Boogie.” A master trumpeter’s recommendation of a trumpet performance is not to be ignored.
Check it out.
Some time ago, I heard a private recording of the Baker Backstreet gig, but I had no idea that it had been released on this album. The Fresh Sound website quotes Baker’s pal Artt Frank, the drummer, who recorded the music that night.
Chet confessed to me on several occasions that he had an uneasy feeling that each time he played could be his last. But whatever the reason, he was fantastic (spectacular!). I thought to myself, this has got to be a very special night. I’ve worked a lot of clubs with Chet over the years both Stateside and Europe, but this particular night seemed a whole lot different to me. Somehow Chet was really burning…Burnin’ at Backstreet!—Artt Frank
As it turned out, Chet had seven more years. He died in May of 1988