In answer to an offer from Nicole Barclay, Chet Baker arrived in Paris early in September 1955. On the 22nd — or maybe the 23rd — he signed a contract to make seven records... (The figure was later erased and replaced by 'three', which turned out to be correct). Released after the trumpeter's return to the USA, this last volume was construed as rather a poor relation opposite the others in the trilogy, all the more so because, hurriedly drafted, the sleeve-notes did little to render unto Caesar the things which were Caesar's. Unlike the earlier opuses, this one was in no way a concept-album: It contented itself with a simple overview of Chet's Parisian associations, depending on where his fancies took him in the course of his stay.
Chet entered the Studio Pathé-Magellan on October 25th with only Jimmy Bond and his contrabass left from his original accompanying trio. In the ensuing octet session Chet’s melodic gifts were magnified by (remarkable) scores penned by Pierre Michelot – Chet, Dinah – and Christian Chevalier (Vline). The three pieces were mini-concertos, and sounded magnificent. On November 28, Chet went back into the same studio, this time with Raymond Fol on piano, Benoît Quersin on bass and Jean-Louis Viale on drums. They recorded two improvisations: the first was based on a 1932 standard from Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, "Alone Together", while the second began with "Exitus", a composition written by one of Baker’s friends, Phil Urso. The performances are among the most beautiful that Chet produced during this period, along with "Chekeeta" — or Chik-Etah — and "How about You?"
To respect his next bookings, Chet had to get a stable band together, and as his pianist he chose Raph Schecroun - later known as Errol Parker - who was himself replaced by Francy Boland. Alongside him were bassist Eddie de Haas, who'd previously been with Martial Solal and Henri Renaud (the latter, in the adventure, also lost his regular drummer, Charles Saudrais, who was just seventeen. According to Jean-Louis Chautemps, »When Bobby Jaspar couldn't do it or just wanted too much, they looked for someone cheaper; and that was me. There wasn't really an audition: we were in the Tabou, I played with Chet, he said OK and, two days later, we found ourselves in Reykjavik, Iceland.« The tune "Tasty Pudding" written by Al Cohn and "Anticipated Blues", one of the rare pieces Chet claimed to have written, were in the repertoire played by this last Baker-led formation on the Old Continent.
Both pieces, once again, moved Pierre Michelot to pass judgement: With ordinary means, Chet managed to play phrases of extraordinary beauty with simplicity and clarity.
Recording: between October 25, 1955 and March 15, 1956 at Pathé Magellan Studio, Paris.
Chet Baker, trumpet
Benny Vasseur, trombone
Bobby Jaspar, Jean-Louis Chautemps, tenor saxophone
Rene Urtreger, Francy Boland, piano
Jimmy Bond, Benoit Quersin, Eddie De Haas, bass
Nils-Bertil Dahlander, Charles Saudrais, drums
Side 1 How About You? Once in a While Chekeetah Alone Together Chet
Side 2 Dinah Tasty Pudding Anticipate Blues V-Line Exitus