Thursday 17 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Drugs sent jazz icon Chet Baker...

Drugs sent jazz icon Chet Baker for fall

William W. Savage Jr. June 28th, 2007

Chet Baker was the greatest Oklahoma-born, toothless, drug-addicted, trumpet-playing jazzman ever to fall out of a hotel window and die on foreign soil. It wasn't suicide and it wasn'...


Chet Baker was the greatest Oklahoma-born, toothless, drug-addicted, trumpet-playing jazzman ever to fall out of a hotel window and die on foreign soil.

It wasn't suicide and it wasn't murder. It was loss of balance, which is an appropriate metaphor for his life.

He was born Chesney Henry Baker Jr., on the family farm near Yale on Dec. 23, 1929, two months after the Wall Street crash that heralded the arrival of the Great Depression. The only child of hardworking parents, he lived in Oklahoma until tough times forced the family's emigration to California in 1940.

Baker's father, a western-swing guitarist, was a fan of Jack Teagarden, the musician (and one-time Oklahoma Cityan) whom Louis Armstrong called the blackest white man who ever lived. When Baker was 13, his father gave him a trombone, hoping that his son would emulate Teagarden.

But the kid was too small for the instrument. He couldn't work the slide, and the mouthpiece overwhelmed his lips.

The trombone went away, a trumpet appeared and the rest is history, more or less. With musicians, one never can be sure. They may play notes and make records, but they don't take notes and keep records.

Baker died on May 13, 1988, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He had self-medicated with a speedball, that admixture of heroin and cocaine. Groggy in his upstairs hotel room, he had opened a window, lost his balance and fell headfirst to the pavement below. He was 58 years old. "William W. Savage Jr.

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