Chet, 2000


Born Chensney Baker (1929 – 1988), Chet’s rare vocal talent, combined with his virtuosity as a jazz trumpeter and his ‘chiseled good looks” rocketed him to the top of the jazz scene in the mid-1950s, It began in 1952 when he earned the chance to play with jazz great Charlie Parker. That same year, he joined saxophonist Gerry Mulligan's piano-less quartet, and the pairing of Baker's subdued tone and gentle phrasing with Mulligan's ear for harmonies helped define the cool jazz sound. The quartet recorded such favorites as "Walkin' Shoes," "Bernie's Tune" and "My Funny Valentine," which became one of Baker's signature songs. In spite of a life-long struggle with drug addiction, Chet produced some of the most cherished music and played with many of the great musicians of his times across the country and in Europe until his death in 1988 in Italy, where he lived the last 25 years of his life. 

Raimondi’s inspiration evokes an abstract melding of man and instrument as it stands tall and confident, imbued with a masculinity and bold expression that made Chet Baker one of the giants of Jazz.

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