Previously unreleased Chet Baker discovered...

Live In London, taped during a six-night stint at the now long-gone Covent Garden jazz venue, The Canteen, in 1983, is set for release on 28 October on the Ubuntu Music label. 

A previously unreleased Chet Baker recording, Live In London, taped during a six-night stint at the now long-gone Covent Garden jazz venue, The Canteen, in 1983, is set for release on 28 October on the Ubuntu Music label. 

Backed by pianist John Horler’s Trio of bassist Jim Richardson and drummer Tony Mann, Baker’s playing is on fine form throughout (even though he was in poor physical health at the time). The venue had previously housed The Blitz, a favourite haunt of London's New Romantics, before subsequently being converted into the 200-seater, up-market jazz venue, running from 1979 for five years. It saw regular performances by many US jazz stars, particularly singers such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Slim Gaillard and Mose Allison.

Recorded by Richardson on a basic Sony TCS tape recorder placed on his bass cabinet, the sound on the album has been restored, with tape hisses, pops and distortion removed to create an incredibly clear and full-sounding finished set of 10 songs that will be released as a double CD. Commenting on the music Richardson said: "I have a huge quantity of Chet Baker recordings but what we have here is the best, in my opinion.” The 10 songs featured on the album are: ‘Have You Met Miss Jones’, ‘Beatrice’, ‘For Minors Only’, ‘The Touch Of Your Lips’, 'Margarine’, ‘With a Song in My Heart’, ‘Leaving’, ‘I Remember You’, ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘I’ll Remember April’ all featuring spirited and sympathetic playing from Baker and the band. 

The album will be launched at Ronnie Scott’s on 22 and 23 August and will see pianist Horler reunited with Richardson and Mann for the first time since their 1983 gigs with Baker. These performances will also feature trumpeter Quentin Collins, saxophonist (and Jim’s son) Leo Richardson and a special guest appearance by revered Brit-jazz singer Norma Winstone

© Mike Flynn – Jazzwise magazine 

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