Do It The Hard Way (Uk)


aec.bop22.2 8/19/03 New
$10.49 $13.99

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Review Text Baker's late-'50s recordings for Riverside aren't usually esteemed as particularly significant work, either in general or in comparing it against the rest of his discography. Yet those recordings did yield good music, as demonstrated by this 17-song compilation that draws from a half-dozen Baker LPs, though it was all recorded in a concentrated burst of a little more than a year in 1958 and 1959. It's divided fairly evenly between vocal numbers and instrumentals, and while the vocal tracks might have too much romantic pop for some straight-ahead jazzers, it really does rate among the best vocal jazz of the era. Those vocal workouts aren't all ballads, either, as shown in Baker's phrasing with up-tempo effervescence on "My Heart Stood Still" and "Do It the Hard Way." On the instrumentals, Baker bops respectably on items like "Solar" and "Fair Weather"; the presence of ace sidemen like Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Drew, Al Haig, Paul Chambers, Bill Evans, Kenny Burrell, Connie Kay, Pepper Adams, Johnny Griffin, and Herbie Mann on much of the material certainly helps. None of them, admittedly, are present on the three songs taken from With Fifty Italian Strings, but even that album marked an interesting and successful direction for Baker. With 71 minutes of music, this CD compilation also offers good value for the money. ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Do It the Hard Way - 3:02
  2. 2. Song Is You - 3:32
  3. 3. Old Devil Moon - 3:57
  4. 4. Solar - 6:53
  5. 5. How High the Moon - 4:35
  6. 6. When I Fall in Love - 4:36
  7. 7. Autumn in New York - 4:33
  8. 8. My Heart Stood Still - 3:28
  9. 9. You Make Me Feel So Young (Take 5) - 4:39
  10. 10. Fair Weather - 7:58
  11. 11. September Song - 3:04
  12. 12. Deep in a Dream - 5:32
  13. 13. It Never Entered My Mind - 5:40
  14. 14. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face - 4:14
  15. 15. I'm Old Fashioned - 5:05
  16. 16. You and the Night and the Music - 4:06
  17. 17. Soft Winds - 7:31

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