« There Will Be Blood | Main | The Tapscott Sessions »

Let's Get Found

To be sure, Chet Baker is an integral part of the history of West Coast Jazz. Thing is, my mates and I were hard-pressed to understand exactly WHY when we first went to the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis in 1989 to see Bruce Weber's formaldehyde-soaked documentary Let's Get Lost. By the time of that film, Baker was a toothless emaciated shell of a junkie -- believe me, Amy Winehouse, you have NOTHING on this guy.

chetbaker.jpg

If I can remember correctly, the conversation as we left the show went something like this:

"Who was that walking corpse? He couldn't even sing!"

"What does Elvis Costello see in this guy?"

"Does he actually play that trumpet or just clutch it like a pacificer?"

"Let's go hit Liquor Lyle's. They've got their hot wings happy hour."

"Yeah!"

It's odd when the years go by and the films you've seen on screen fade away and become "out of print." For years I wanted to see Let's Get Lost again, especially after I (re)discovered Baker on The Italian Sessions or the Paris Barclay Sessions with Dick Twardzik. Now apparently, it's been re-released in the theatres in 35mm. Can DVD be far behind? With lots and lots of extras?

Isn't it somewhat ironic that the release has played in New York but not Los Angeles? Oh yes, if you want to see some short clips on You Tube, forget it. They've all been taken down "due to a copyright claim by the Chet Baker Foundation."

Comments (2)

Have to agree here. "LGL" stuck me as necrophilia, a very creepy, if exceedingly well-made doc.

But then I never got Chet Baker, either. Reading the contemporary press along the lines of "Watch out, Miles. You've got competition," is almost laughable these days.

Miles changed the world while Baker cranked out endless twee covers of "I Should Care."

Nuff said.

Josh Schroeder:

I can't speak for the film as I've never seen it, and yes, for the press to have warned Miles that he had competition, is by all means humorous. That said, they weren't really playing the same game either. And while Miles "changed" the world, Chet left an incredibly intriguing musical legacy. He certainly made his mark as an artist and did so with an emotional depth that is unsurpassed.

Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to "get" Chet's work (such as myself, or Elvis Costello)... but those of us who do get it find countless rewards in its beauty and will forever be inspired for it.

FYI - Josh Hartnett was chosen to play Chet Baker in the 2008 film, "The Prince of Cool." Not sure when it will be released...

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Tag cloud

Adam Rudolph Alex Cline's Band of the Moment Alex Cline; Nels Cline: Alex & Nels Cline; Downbeat; Continuation; Coward Alma Lisa Fernandez Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 1) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 2) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Photos Antonio Sanchez avant-garde Ben Goldberg Bennie Maupin Bennie Maupin & Dolphyana Bill Stewart Billy Childs Jazz-Chamber Ensemble Billy Corgan Billy Hart Bob Sheppard California Jazz Foundation Cameron Graves Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Carol Robbins Charles Mingus; Son of Watts Musical Caravan Project; Azar Lawrence; Nate Morgan; Henry Franklin; Alphonse Mouzon; Prayer for My Ancestors Charles Owens Chops: The Movie Chris Barton Cryptogramophone Records Cryptonight Darek Oles Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy David Anderson Pianos David Witham Denman Maroney Devin Hoff Double M Jazz Salon Downbeat 57th Annual Critics Poll Dwight Trible Eagle Rock Center for the Arts Eclipse Quartet Edward Vesala Electric Lodge Eric Dolphy Eric Von Essen First Friday Series at the Museum of Neon Art G.E. Stinson Global Village Monday with Maggie LePique Go: Organic Orchestra Gravitas Quartet Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival; Peter Erskine Greg Kot Gregg Bendian Hale Smith Hannah Rothschild Hans Fjellstad Harry Partch; L.A. Weekly; John Schneider; REDCAT Horace Tapscott; Horace Tapscott Tribute Concert; Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra; the Ark; Jazz Bakery; Ruth Price; Jesse Sharps; Austin Peralta; Isaac Smith Huffington Post Hugh Hopper Ikeda Kings Orchestra improvisation Initiate Ivan Cotton James Newton Jason Robinson Jay Bennett Jay Hoggard jazz Jazz at the Plgrimage Jazz Bakery Jazz Explosion III Jazz Journey with Eddie B. Jeff Gauthier Jeff Tweedy Jesse Sharps Jim Black Joe Zawinul John "Drumbo" French John Fumo Kamasi Washington Ken Coomer Ken Kawamura KJAZZ 88.1-FM KPFK 90.7-FM KXLU 88.9-FM Larry Goldings Larry Karush Larry Koonse Learning How To Die Leimert Park: The Roots and Branches of L.A. Jazz Les Paul Lester Bowie Lily Burk Memorial Live at the Atelier Los Angeles New Music Ensemble Los Angeles Times Luis Bonilla Maggie Parkins Marcus Rojas Mark Dresser Mark Zaleski Mel Morris Michael Davis Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Mimi Melnick Motoko Honda Museum of Neon Art Museum of Neon Art; MONA; Many Axes; Susan Rawcliffe; Scott Wilkinson; Brad Dutz music blog Myra Melford Nasheet Waits Natsuki Tamura Nels Cline Nels Cline Singers Nels Cline Singers with Jeff Parker Nestor Torres Nick Rosen OC Creative Music Collective Oguri Open Gate Theatre Sunday Concert Series Pannonica Rothschild Peggy Lee Peter Bernstein plays monk Rashied Ali ResBox at the Steve Allen Theater RISE with Mark Maxwell Roberto Miranda Rod Poole Ron MIles Royal/T Cafe Sara Parkins Sara Schoenbeck Sarah Thornblade SASSAS Satoko Fujii Scott Amendola Scott Colley Sky Saxon Tribute Sonship Theus Spirit Moves Spirits in the Sky Steuart Liebig Terry Riley The Gathering The Jazz Baroness The JazzCat with Leroy Downs Thelonious Monk Thomas Stones Tom McNalley Trilogy Van Morrison; Astral Weeks; Scott Foundas; Jan Steward; Music Cirle; SASSAS Vincent Chancey Wayne Horvitz Wayne Peet Wilco Wilco; Nels Cline Wilco; Wilco (The Album); Nels Cline Will Salmon