Chet Baker, vocals Bobby Scott, piano Kenny Burrell, guitar
"Born to Be Blue", as sung by Baker, is a compliment to the composer, singer Mel Tormé. Scott and Burrell play a brief introduction that sets the mood, and then Baker takes over, with Scott's bluesy comments adding spice. Note Baker's singing of the lines "the curtain fell", and then dig how he takes them the second time around. This is singing with real jazz feeling. Tormé couldn't have done better himself.
Although Chet Baker's recordings from late in his life varied dramatically in quality, this series of studio sessions is a high point in his career. After having his trumpet stolen, he plays beautifully with a borrowed flügelhorn throughout most of these songs with a powerful tone, especially on "Baby Breeze" and Hal Galper's intense "This Is the Thing." Baker delivers some strong vocals on the session led by pianist Bobby Scott, though Scott's huge hit "A Taste of Honey" is marred somewhat by his odd honky tonk piano in the background. This is an unusual compilation worth acquiring. [allmusic.com]