Chet Baker (with Phil Urso): To Mickey's Memory
To Mickey's Memory
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Chet Baker & Crew
Bill Loughbrough (chromatic tympani).
Recorded: Los Angeles, July 24, 25 & 31, 1956
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Chet Baker's collaborations with Gerry Mulligan made jazz history. Baker's work with pianist Russ Freeman also are widely admired and still sell well more than 50 years later. But let's not forget Chet's work with tenor saxophonist Phil Urso, featured on this hot and swinging track from their Chet Baker & Crew LP. Urso was a Prez disciple with a knack for hard-bop phrasing, and his presence tended to prod Chet into a more aggressive frame of mind, a nice change-up from the more ethereal Mulligan sides. Bill Loughborough's contribution on his homemade "chromatic tympani" is another highlight here. Somebody should track down that contraption and bring it back into the studio! All in all, "To Mickey's Memory" is a great performance, one of the neglected gems in Baker's Eisenhower-era discography.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia