My Funny Valentine, 1987

Chet Baker

Baker takes a memorable trumpet solo
on his trademark song

Chet Baker (1929-88) had an up and down life but ironically some of his finest trumpet playing was during his last years.

On this 1987 version of his ballad hit “My Funny Valentine,” performed in Tokyo a half-year before his death, Baker sings a slow chorus and his high voice sounding fine.

He then launches into a superior medium-tempo five-minute trumpet solo that is full of bop phrases, fire, and melodic ideas, sounding very much at the peak of his powers.

The rhythm section (including pianist Harold Danko) looks quite happy to be sharing the bandstand with Chet Baker.

Personnel:

Chet Baker, trumpet, vocals
Harold Danko, piano
Hein Van Der Geyn, bass
John Engels, drums

– Scott Yanow