There he stands, the anonymous man bookended by two legends, two gods, two immortals. On his right is the man called Bird, with eyes shut and lips clasped around the reed of his alto sax; even in an old photo, you can hear his horn honking, squealing, bleating, blaring. On his left is Chet Baker, the forever-beautiful trumpet player who looked like James Dean and played like Gabriel. Chet is young in that picture, just beginning to make a name on the West Coast jazz scene. In that photo, he is just another kid, another comer; soon enough, they would know his name, his face, his whispered melodies. But just who is that guy in the middle--the would-be accountant, the bespectacled nobody, the dude who looks like he just walked up from the audience to... More >>>
Harry Babasin, The Bear, has been written out of jazz's history books, but his son is trying to fill in the blanks.