Original released on LP RCA Victor PML-10307
Chet had moved to europe in the late 50s,where he was already a legend of jazz but he ended up in jail in Italy for a year on drug offences. On his release he recorded this set of cool jazz/bop in Milan with some fine european jazz musicians which focused on his instrumental rather than vocal chops. Chet plays well and sounds very much on his game but the real stars are in his backing band where the guitarist and sax player both provide stellar backing. Recorded in January 5, 1962, "Chet Is Back!" showcases the "cool" trumpeter cutting loose on such bop-oriented workouts as "Pent-Up House" and "Well, You Needn't." Backed skillfully by a young cadre of up-and-coming European musicians, including the stellar saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Chet Baker may have never sounded better, including on the ballads. One listen to "Over the Rainbow" and it's clear this is an overlooked Baker classic. This 2003 reissue of "Chet Is Back!", includes four orchestral pop bonus tracks Baker recorded with Ennio Morricone around the same time as this session.