CHET BAKER Deep In A Dream (Pacific Jazz) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
For anyone intrigued enough to dig into Chet Baker's musical past after seeing Danny DePoe's portrayal of the jazz trumpeter in current theatre production Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project, the Deep In A Dream collection is the place to start. Released as a companion to James Gavin's well-researched but somewhat fawning biography of the same name, the disc is a well-chosen survey of the young firebrand's peak years in the late 50s. It focuses on his bluesy crooning -- championed by Elvis Costello -- which has undergone a favourable reappraisal in recent years. These beatifically rendered ballads of doomed romance -- including a rare 1955 take on Let's Get Lost, a couple of previously unissued a cappella session outtakes and his wonderfully forlorn reading of My Funny Valentine -- present an idealized glossy black-and-white publicity still version of Baker at the time when it seemed like he had the world on a string. The Crow's Theatre production of Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project runs till April 6 at Buddy in Bad Times Theatre.