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Chet Baker: His Life and Music Paperback – August 1, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Paperback, August 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

First published in Holland in 1989, and translated for the first time, this book is the only biography of Chet Baker (1929-88) available in English. De Valk's sympathetic yet gritty rendering of Baker's life blends well with his account of Baker's recording career. Somehow, the author, a Dutch jazz journalist, manages to avoid the lurid and sensationalistic aspects those having only a passing familiarity with the musician usually recount. Leading a wandering existence that included a scattering of wives and children across America, Baker is shown to be a master musician who communicated primarily through music. De Valk weaves excerpts from Baker's As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir (a chilling account of his music-making and life-long search for drugs, both seemingly of equal importance) with insights from Baker's family and friends, making sense of Baker's creativity. In his final years, he seemed inspired to play some of his finest music, so his death was that much more shocking to fans. Recommended for public, academic, and music libraries.DWilliam G. Kenz, Moorhead State Univ., MN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"...solidly researched. De Valk has put together a believable portrait of Baker." -- JazzTimes March 2001

"Though it has an endearingly unfinished feel to it, like some of Baker's music, it's going to be definitive." -- Brian Priestley, Jazzwise, December 2000/January 2001

Jeroen de Valk's book, CHET BAKER: HIS LIFE AND MUSIC, is a classic of modern Jazz biography. -- Larry Nai, Cadence 27.1

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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2015
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