Hilde Hefte: Just Friends
Hilde Hefte (vocals)
'Round Chet's Midnight (Hot Club Records)
Hilde Hefte (vocals),
Nisse Sandstrom (tenor sax), Egil Kapstad (piano), Bjorn Alterhaug (bass), Eyvind Olsen (drums).
Composed by John Klenner & Sam Lewis.
Recorded: Oslo, Norway, 1999
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Few figures in jazz have generated as much controversy as Chet Baker. Occasionally reviled for his drug use and dismissed by some stateside critics as a "pop" artist, Baker was nevertheless revered and celebrated in European jazz circles. Years ago pianist Egil Kapstad had the honor (or the challenge) of playing with the volatile horn man and, if this recording is any indication, his respect for this iconoclastic player remained intact.
Hilde Hefte manages to capture the essence and spirit as well as the tone of Chet's natural, flowing solos on this classic number from the Great American Songbook. Amazingly, her voice approximates a muted trumpet sound: soft, cool and convincing, with deadly accurate lines fitting the changes like well-worn gloves. Small wonder this album has been so enthusiastically embraced by the Prince of Cool's loyal subjects.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes