As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir

As Though I Had Wings The Lost Memoir Chet Baker dominated the jazz scene of the s working closely with the likes of Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton By the sixties however he found himself caught in a downward spiral of heroin coca

  • Title: As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir
  • Author: Chet Baker
  • ISBN: 9780312167974
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Chet Baker dominated the jazz scene of the 1950s, working closely with the likes of Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton By the sixties, however, he found himself caught in a downward spiral of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs In and out of jail, in and out of relationships, crisscrossing the Atlantic in search of some sort of redemption this is his account Here, lusChet Baker dominated the jazz scene of the 1950s, working closely with the likes of Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton By the sixties, however, he found himself caught in a downward spiral of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs In and out of jail, in and out of relationships, crisscrossing the Atlantic in search of some sort of redemption this is his account Here, lush reminiscences of his early years give way to vivid scattered memories of women, jail terms, and of course the one constant the music Throughout his life Chet returned again and again to the solace music offered, to the haven of his trumpet s smooth notes and his voice s low croon Until this memoir, these recordings were all we had Finally, Chet Baker has let us in, past the music right on to his soul.

    One thought on “As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir”

    1. this slender volume is a bit of an oddity referred to interchangeably as a memoir and as a diary, it seems to sit somewhere in between, a diary that was notes towards a memoir perhaps, as it is always looking backwards and never quotidian. the writing is spare and unadorned giving the impression that this is exactly how baker would speak to you if you'd asked him in conversation to recount his life. this sketchy unfinished feel serves the book well, allowing baker to tell his story directly and [...]

    2. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.When Chet (first name terms seems appropriate somehow. I think Chet was that kind of guy) says, "probably less than 2 percent of the public can really hear. When I say hear, I mean follow a horn player through his ideas, and be able to understand those ideas in relation to the changes," I place myself in the more-than-98-percent category. I've got stacks of Chet's recordings and his music is some of my very favourite, but I'm not sure that I 'get' jazz. The things I li [...]

    3. Something very sad about this guy - and we get as near to the heart of it as we ever will in this timid but revealing "lost" memoir. I've read this a few times over the years, was great to reconnect with it again, now so much more familiar with the music. Heartbreaking and hardly ever hopeful but still a must read, something profound in these deceptively simple sentences.

    4. a conti fatti questo libro è poco più di un "millelire" di stampa alternativa, solo stampato con dei caratteri tipo quelli dei libri per bambini: lo si finisce in un paio d'ore, magari giusto il tempo di far girare nel lettore cd "chet baker sings" (lo storico disco su pacific ora nel catalogo blue note che per me è uno dei vertici del jazz) un paio di voltesomma, l'avessero integrato con qualche intervista d'epoca sarebbe stato ottimo, così com'è è fin troppo breve e rischia di esser trop [...]

    5. A slow casual burn where life seems as fleeting as the flick of a cigarette. Did not really get any insight into his soul or attachment to his music just his immediate surroundings where jazz and hard drugs seemed synonymous.

    6. Speak with any jazz fan and eventually you'll get on the issue of the history for the genre from the storytellers themselves, the musicians.Jazz is arguably a genre that has experienced more tragedy and early loss than any other, except possibly the blues. Its a laundry list of greats who are done before their time due to drugs or other unfortunate circumstances.Chet Baker is one of those individuals who has created such beautiful works of art but also suffered a great deal due to his drug use a [...]

    7. A short memoir found after the jazz trumpeter's death, this is a pretty unflinching look at Baker's rather troubled life, though I'm not entirely sure he felt that way. After not doing well in high school after a move to California from Oklahoma, he ran to the army at 16. Playing in the army band he started on life in music, and soon is starting on other things as well--women, fast living, and drugs.Baker is brutally honest about his problems after leaving the army--twice. He's happy to have bee [...]

    8. a skeletal, severely abbreviated fraction of autobiography. reading more like excerpted annotated outlines of a memoir, barely stretching just over a hundred pages padded with ample textless chapter divisions etc. worth it for the inimitable Chet Baker deadpan --near catatonic-- stoicism that somehow, in its seemingly para-human indifference and detachment, conveys such an elevated sensitivity, psychic fragility and diffuse air of melancholy and portent that only such impassivity could delicatel [...]

    9. Un beatnik entre los beatniks. Sin apologías, sin impostura, sin histrionismo, sin olor a naftalina. El relato de Baker rezuma franqueza y vida a brochazos. 'Dipping' sanguinolento en el que se filtra el carpe diem de la otra aventura: la del opciáceoadicto orgulloso, la del paradigma de jazz en perpetuo balanceo, la de los grandes latidos de la ciudad entre sus mujeres y sus cárceles, la de la noche infinita, la del viajante ciego de bencedrina.De unas memorías en la que el mayor traspiés [...]

    10. It seems that this is a posthumous publication of a lightly-edited version of Baker's notebooks or journals. I loved some of the little stories or character sketches, done with an economy of words. But the book avoids self-reflection, context, or explanation like the plague, so while it's possible to get an idea of what Baker's life was like as he went through bands, women, drugs, and countries, I don't know any more about why Chet did the things he did or how he felt about it all than I did bef [...]

    11. Short book that reads even more quickly about the life of one of The trumpet players of jazz. More than interesting, it is very sad to realize how the account of his life looks more to that of a junkie than to a genius, even though he probably had as much from each. Personally, I really liked the first chapters in which he recalls almost with nostalgia his time before drugs, his first girl or his first visits to Europe as a soldier.Given the small time investment that requires, it is more than a [...]

    12. On its own, this book doesn't really have much substance, but in conjunction with the biography by James Gavin, it illuminates a bit more about Baker. Mostly his lack of repentance about using and his failure to take responsibility for the trajectory of his life and career. When a guy counts six months at Rikers Island among his best life memories, well, that's not a life I'd wish for.

    13. Several musicians had been wrote their memories, but this in particular give me the chills In so many ways Chet made his music from his livin, like some others jazz musicians, yes, but Chet also had that particular style to tell us the livin with such a charm and almust innocent way. A big soul in a very handsome guy! A remarcable biography.

    14. One of those books where you can't quite tell if it is brilliant in its sparseness and the casual way he talks about drugs, or terrible in the way he just treats drug abuse as if it was the same as drinking coffee.

    15. If you're looking for insight into Chet Baker's music or personality, this isn't it. There's not an ounce of introspection in it. I suppose the estate published it to ride the Cult of Chet, but it's nothing but a sad account of a junkie lifestyle, and a not very good one.

    16. Chet was an eloquent guy when he wanted to be as it goes on, the book devolves into frequent rants against the police who busted him (repeatedly) for possession, but such was Baker's life. Loved reading about his adventures on the cliffs of Palos Verdes with Charlie Parker!

    17. Not as perfectly played as one of his solos, Chet rambles on about this and that. There's a few interesting comments about the West Coast jazz scene and some of its members, but overall there's not much going on here.

    18. more Chet, from his own words is a really short read but good first person view. Although it is not totally honest about the shit that he pulled as a hustling addict musician, it is nice to hear his stories first hand.

    19. The writing was not good, but his story is interesting. Chet Baker was a heroin addict for twenty years and then fell or got pushed out of a window in Amsterdam in the 80s. This book is a quick read and if you like Chet Baker it's worth it.

    20. While this memoir is very choppy and erratic, it's also a great "behind the scenes" kind of diary that Chet kept.

    21. one thing i really liked is how someone vandalized the library's copy, correcting the spellings of all the names.

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