Friday, July 2
Chet Baker Day!
In 2005 Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and the Oklahoma House of Representatives proclaimed July 2, 2005 as Chet Baker Day. Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker, Jr. was born in Yale, Oklahoma on December 23, 1929. His father was a professional guitar player and Chet Sr. introduced his son to brass instruments with a trombone, which was replaced with a trumpet when the trombone proved too large for him. After receiving some musical education at Glendale Junior High, Chet joined the army at the age of 16 and performed with the 298th Army band while stationed in Berlin. Baker first rose to prominence when Charlie Parker chose him to be his trumpet player on a West Coast tour in 1951. Sadly Chet is more remembered for his heroin addiction today than his playing, in no small part to the circumstances surrounding his death: On May 13, 1988 Baker fell from a window of Hotel Prins Hendrik (Room 210) at the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Regardless, Chet will always be my favorite trumpet player - below are two of my favorite live videos of Baker from youtube: