Chet Baker – You Can’t Go Home Again

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  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy will be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you like the kind of music Grover Washington was making around the time of Mister Magic, this is the album for you 
  • This kind of funky Soul Jazz is not for everyone but Chet is such a great player he makes it work
  • “…one of Baker’s most important latter-day albums.” — Allmusic

Top players as you can see from the list below.

This copy on side two was simply more clear, bigger, richer and more natural than any other. Side one was excellent as well — very rich and full-bodied — but lacked a bit of the size that made side one stand out from the crowd of copies we played.

What outstanding sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1977
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

The Players and Personnel

Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Tony Williams
Flute – Hubert Laws (tracks: A2)
Flute [Bass], Piccolo Flute – Hubert Laws (tracks: B2)
Guitar – John Scofield (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Percussion – Ralph MacDonald (tracks: A1, B1)
Saxophone [Alto] – Paul Desmond (tracks: B1)
Saxophone [Tenor] – Michael Brecker (tracks: A1, A2, B2)

Arranged By, Conductor – Don Sebesky

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Love For Sale
Un Poco Loco

Side Two

You Can’t Go Home Again
El Morro

Allmusic Review for the Extended CD

[Users give it Four Stars]

Verve/A&M’s reissue of Chet Baker’s 1977 album You Can’t Go Home Again features the trumpeter/vocalist supported by an all-star band that includes guitarist John Scofield, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond in his final recording session. Former Miles Davis sidemen Tony Williams and Ron Carter also add an organic touch to the proceedings and a warm contrast to the electric pianos and Moogs that flow through Don Sebesky’s arrangements.

Alternate takes of the title track and others including “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You/You’ve Changed,” “The Best Thing for You,” and “If You Could See Me Now” make this double-disc set a more complete look at one of Baker’s most important latter-day albums.

Don Sebesky

Don Sebesky is best known as house arranger for many of producer Creed Taylor’s Verve, A&M, and CTI productions; the man whose orchestral backgrounds helped make artists like Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, Freddie Hubbard, and George Benson acceptable to audiences outside of jazz.

He has taken critical heat for this, but Sebesky’s arrangements have usually been among the classiest in his field, reflecting a solid knowledge of the orchestra, drawing variously from big band jazz, rock, ethnic music, classical music of all eras, and even the avant-garde for ideas. He once cited Bartok as his favorite composer, but one also hears lots of Stravinsky in his work.

In 1960, he gave up the trombone to concentrate upon arranging and conducting, eventually receiving the breakthrough assignment of Montgomery’s Bumpin’ album (1965). Some of the most attractive examples of his work for jazz headliners include Bumpin’, Benson’s The Shape of Things to Come, Desmond’s From the Hot Afternoon, and Hubbard’s First Light.

AMG