Dreamy Dispatches

How could so much beauty come from so much turbulence?

That's the question one must ask when confronted with the music of trumpeter Chet Baker. Though besieged by unrelenting inner demons, he was nevertheless able to extract from his instrument a beautiful sonorous aesthetic. That sound permeates This Time the Dream's on Me.

Recorded in Los Angeles and Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1954, Dream finds Baker backed by pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Larry Bunker and drummer Bob Neel. Each provides consistent and thoughtful accompaniment.

Fourteen songs are featured, including "All the Things You Are" (RealAudio excerpt), "Stella by Starlight" (RealAudio excerpt), two versions of "My Funny Valentine" and "Maid in Mexico." Baker constructs graceful solos throughout, particularly on baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan's "Line for Lyons." Baker masterfully understates the theme on "Lover Man," delivering each note just above a whisper. "Headline" (RealAudio excerpt) proves the perfect vehicle for his easy, swinging lyricism.