Deep in A Dream

Deep in A Dream

The Long Night of Chet Baker

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of Chet Baker describes the jazz legend's hardscrabble Oklahoma youth, his rise to success in the world of jazz, his long-time addiction to heroin, and his mysterious 1988 death falling from an Amsterdam hotel window.

Blackwell North Amer
From his emergence in the 1950s - when an uncannily beautiful young man from Oklahoma appeared on the West Coast to become, seemingly overnight, the prince of "cool" jazz - until his violent, drug-related death in Amsterdam in 1988, Chet Baker lived a life that has become an American myth. Now, drawing on hundreds of interviews and previously untapped sources, James Gavin gives a hair-raising account of the trumpeter's dark journey.
The story of Baker's demise - a heretofore unsolved riddle - is revealed here at last. So is the truth behind his tormented childhood, the pain of which haunted his entire life. Gavin explores the birth of the melancholy trumpet playing, the fragile tenor voice, and the otherworldly personal aura that catapulted Baker to fame. Sexy, angelic, needy, and forbidding all at once, Baker became known as the James Dean of jazz. Like Dean, he struck a note of menace in the staid fifties: behind his ultracool, handsome facade lay something ominous, unspoken. The mystery drove both sexes crazy. But his only real romance, apart from music, was with drugs. And in mesmerizing detail, Gavin narrates the harrowing spiral of dependency down which Baker tumbled, dragging with him those who dared get close.

Baker
& Taylor

An intriguing portrait of Chet Baker describes the jazz legend's hardscrabble Oklahoma youth, his rise to success in the world of jazz, his long-time addiction to heroin, and his mysterious 1988 death falling from an Amsterdam hotel window. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2002
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780679442875
0679442871
Branch Call Number: 788.92 BAKER GAVIN
Characteristics: 430 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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TheSponge
Nov 23, 2011

I picked up this book because I heard an interview about it on NPR. As a fan of Chet Baker’s music and jazz in general, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the trumpet player.

Chet Baker had it all: talent, handsome looks, fans worldwide and a drug addiction that took it all away.

The author, James Gavin, presents a thoroughly researched portrait of Chet Baker. I wasn’t wild about his cynical, sarcastic tone throughout the book, however, that didn’t prevent me from finishing it either. It was a disturbing look at the jazz legend’s life, to say the least.

I think the life and times of Chet Baker would make for a great movie. Sadly though, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to the music of Chet Baker the same way again.

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