Someone who identifies himself on YouTube as “liveacid” went to painstaking trouble to manufacture a video of Chet Baker and Paul Desmond playing “Autumn Leaves.” The music track is from Baker’s 1974 album She Was Too Good To Me. It was later reissued on the compilation Chet Baker & Paul Desmond Together. From disparate sources, the editor rounded up shots of Baker, Desmond, pianist Bob James, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Steve Gadd. You’ll hear Hubert Laws’ flute, but “liveacid” did not include shots of Laws.
The breaths Desmond and Baker take don’t match those in the music, although they often come uncannily close. Pay attention to what fingers and drumsticks are doing in relation to the notes and you’ll see the misses and near-misses. You never see the players together. The editor repeatedly recycles the same shots. Still, despite its flaws it’s a clever job of digital cut and paste. It is reason enough to listen again to players who, as the liner notes of that compilation remind us, were wonderful together.
Have a good weekend.