Chet Baker’s solo on Well You Needn’t

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The Last Great Concert is one of my favorite recordings of Chet Baker where he showcases his incredibly lyrical and flowing approach in soloing. Although it doesn’t demonstrate his chops compared to his peers, Chet still had the ability to take a small amount of range and material and be creative with. In this solo on Well You Needn’t he plays two choruses of the form, accompanied by a big band.

There are a few motives his uses that reoccur throughout the solo, including the phrase he starts the solo with. I also enjoyed seeing how he approaches the 1/2 step chord changes in this tune from different approaches. He stays pretty in the pocket, with only the bridge stretching the lines chromatically and diverging with more challenging lines. His combined use of the “6th” scale tone on the different dominant 7 chords also brings in some pentatonic phrasing among the be-bop and chord based lines.

I highly recommend listening to this album if you already haven’t. Each tune is a gem in itself and showcases that even though he was having many physical and mental issues Chet played so beautifully until the end of his life.

Spotify Link

Bb Transcription

C Transcription

Eb Transcription

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