Frenesi: By Chet Baker

Mexican marimba player and composer Alberto Dominguez wrote the evergreen melody ‘Frenesi’ in 1939. Two years later he wrote ‘Perfidia’. Both are outstanding compositions that have stood the test of time and been recorded by great bands and even greater singers. One of the greatest versions of ‘Frenesi’ is little known and we recommend it here.

The Chet Baker Quartet played for some weeks in Santa Cruz, California in 1954. Although Baker was still young, he was already living recklessly and it is said that the members of this quartet were equally as reckless with their health and safety. Nevertheless, they played some of the finest American jazz ever recorded. Baker was on top form when accompanied by Russ Freeman on piano, Carson Smith on bass and Bob Neel on drums. This period in Baker’s career showed that his trumpet playing ranked only just below that of Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown and way above the over-rated Miles Davis. Enjoy this poorly-recorded, but timeless live night-club version of ‘Frenesi’.

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