Herb Geller 最近推出的专辑是在 HEP 的 At The Movies，不过听起来有点平淡，感觉没有什么活力，无意中发现他在 Ruth Young 的专辑伴奏，是德国的唱片公司 Nagel Heyer 所发行 (2051)，Harry Allen 在这边也发行过很多张专辑。
This is Always
这张是近期听过 Herb Geller 专辑或伴奏中最好的，败入这张 CD，原本不知道 Ruth Young 是何方神圣，看到 Liner Notes，才知道她曾是 Chet Baker 多年女友，不过小弟通常对这种是谁的谁，抱持著谨慎的心态。不过听毕第一曲 Whatever Possessed Me，我就放下心来了，Ruth Young 声音相当沙哑，极具磁性，以拖引式拉长字句的方式，显示相当浪漫的情怀，Herb Geller 间或出现，老话一句，好听极了。伴奏乐器除了 alto sax 外，仅有 piano、bass 及 vibes，算是相当特别的组合，应该是延续 Chet Baker 不喜欢鼓组伴奏的风格，录音录得相当好，没有那个乐器形体感特别大，背景相当乾净，各个乐器的质感都相当不错，维持相当平衡的气氛，这种专辑听起来就像在小酒吧的感觉，Ruth Young 左右摇摆著，再间或加上慢慢而出的 Herb Geller，彷彿可见 singer 的嘴巴，在你前方闭合闭合著。
我要承认，这张要是没有 Herb Geller，我是不可能会败入这张的，差一点就放过一张好片了；唱片行有相当多号称爵士女声的唱片，很多女声都标榜发烧录音，又说怎样怎样，听起来都差不多，久而久之，已让我失去冒险乱买的精神了。
这张是2002年7月在德国 Augsburg录音的，2004年4月及2005年2月混音，2005年3月及4月母带处理，2005年6月终於发行，还真久勒！Herb Geller 只出现在第1、3、5、7、12轨。
Audio CD (June 6, 2005)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Nagel-Heyer Germany
Ruth Young strongly reflects
the "cool yet dark andappealingly fragile" vocal stylings of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker"
I think she's the new Peggy Lee...
Ruth Young - Vocals
Herb Geller - Alto Saxophone
Walter Lang - Piano
Rocky Knauer - Bass
Wolfgang Lackerschmid - Vibraphone
There was a certain sense of nagging familiarity as I listened to the first track of this jazz vocal album. As soon as I heard the first notes of “Whatever Possessed Me,” it all fell into place. This is an album of all Chet Baker-associated tunes. Ruth Young was Baker's main squeeze from 1973—1982 and an integral part of the infamous Bruce Weber documentary film Let's Get Lost, released in 1989. Young was also the daughter of Max Youngstein, Vice President of United Artists Company, and as such she was raised in the worlds of Beverly Hills and New York City and became an acquaintance of many high-profile film stars.
When she met the trumpet/vocal legend, Young became immersed in his world of music and drugs for almost a decade before breaking off the relationship. The music chosen for his debut recording is not a tribute recording, but, as she puts it, “my heartfelt dedication to Chet's memory of our own very private and public years together.” The liner notes were written by James Gavin, the author of the very revealing biography Deep In A Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker, published in 2002.
The dozen selections were recorded in Augsburg, Germany at the studio of Wolfgang Lackerschmid, the vibist with whom Baker had recorded several fine albums in the late 1970s. Young also selected veteran ex-pat saxman Herb Geller, with whom Baker recorded some wonderful 1950s West Coast sessions, as well as pianist Walter Lang and bassist Rocky Knauer. Geller supplies several sinuous alto solos and helps to reconstruct the world of 1955 all over again. Her choice to go without a drummer was a carryover of Chet Baker's own preferences.
To no one's surprise, the presentation and delivery of the songs is a time capsule Chet Baker vocal session with Ruth Young eerily emulating Baker's phrasing and timing. Is this imitation or art? You're not going to get any negatives out of this fan! If you are partial to the Baker vocal mystique, then this recording should do the trick for you. Despite an occasional intonation problem, Ruth Young admirably recreates an era and even includes some previously unheard verses for “This Is Always” and “Let's Get Lost.”
by Jim Gavin
WHEN BRUCE WEBER, the famous fashion photographer, first heard Ruth Young sing in 1987, he reacted just as a lot of others have: "Who is this magical woman?" he wondered. Weber was playing a tape of a ten-year-old Chet Baker album, recorded in Milan and scarce even there. He had started filming the documentary Let's Get Lost, his dark, disturbing valentine to the fallen idol of the jazz trumpet. In two vocal duets, Young's smoky voice sounded shy and sexy, cool yet dark, and appealingly fragile, much like Baker's.
It so happened that she had lived, toured, and sung with him from 1973 through 1982. Now she was in St. Thomas, living on a boat with her new boyfriend. It took Weber months to find her. But no one who saw Let's Get Lost can forget the funny, acid-tongued, intellectual blonde whom Weber garbed in a skimpy black dress and made a central part of his film. Viewers learned that Young had come from a Hollywood background: her father was Vice President at United Artists Pictures; Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, and Warren Beatty were all guests in the family home. Rossano Brazzi, the Italian heartthrob who played Emile de Becque in the screen version of South Pacific, posed for pictures with the three-year-old Young; even then, she commanded the camera like a star. In her teens, she discovered the records of Anita O'Day, June Christy, Peggy Lee, and Chet Baker, and decided that she wanted to sing, too.
But nothing in Young's life has come without trouble, especially after she met Baker. By his side everywhere, from beer-stinking dives to Carnegie Hall, she absorbed his minimalist style; enduring his self-destruction through drugs, she learned about survival. As much as she loved him, she had to step out of the path of a speeding train, which she did when she left him. Pauline Kael, the New Yorker film critic, would aptly call her "lively, witty, and tough."
Young's charisma on and off screen made Weber fantasize about turning her into a movie star, a recording star. But after the film's release in 1989, she slipped out of sight again, leaving behind too little evidence of her singing.
I had my own problems locating her and persuading her to talk to me for a project I had just started, a biography published in 2002 under the title Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker. Once she agreed, I was treated to a landslide of memories - some hilarious, some harrowing, all of them shaped by an endlessly probing mind. Critical as she can be, Young is also movingly candid about her own foibles, some of which kept her from making an album until now.
How fitting that she would dedicate her first one to the master who changed her life. She recorded it in Augsburg, a city near Munich, at the studio of Wolfgang Lackerschmid, the vibraphonist and composer. Two of the musicians who back Young have their own connections to Baker. Alto saxophonist Herb Geller, born in Los Angeles, was a colleague of the trumpeter's in the great era of '50s West Coast Jazz. In 1965 Geller moved to Hamburg; since then he has played with Europe's best jazz orchestras and led his own bands. Young met the gifted bassist Rocky Knauer - a bandmate of Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, and other giants - in the late '70s, when Baker hired him for the first of numerous tours. German-born but raised in Canada, Knauer now lives and works near Munich. Pianist Walter Lang left Germany as a young man to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music; later he accompanied such masters as Lee Konitz and James Moody. Now back in Germany, he has his own trio.
But this is Young's album, and she, like her late partner, needs space. In the Baker tradition, you'll hear no drums. Baker considered most drummers bashers, and avoided using them whenever possible. "They make too much goddamned noise!" he told a Spanish interviewer in 1983. "I don't need anybody to keep time for me - I've got the time locked up right in my head!" The arrangements for Young drape around her like the sheerest silk. That is how it should be, for her work has grown more and more revealing with the years. This album is what intimate singing is all about. You'll hear no showing off, just pure feeling.
The songs are beautifully chosen from one of the richest repertoires in jazz. The Wind was composed for Baker in 1953 by pianist Russ Freeman (1926-2002), the backbone of his poll-winning '50s quartet. Harry Gladstone added the words; Young captures their desolate chill. This Is Always, Time After Time, and Let's Get Lost hail from the golden age of '40s film musicals, in which starry-eyed boys and girls vowed their love for eternity. In the Gershwins' But Not for Me, Young's tart and breezy sense of humor, so well captured onscreen in Let's Get Lost, transforms a bittersweet torch song into the lighthearted farewell of a woman who's got greater plans in store.
In a letter he sent her after they parted, Baker wrote: "You're a great, great lady, Ruth... Keep singing." Luckily for us, she has.
James Gavin, New York City 2003
Author of Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker (2002)
01. Whatever Possessed Me
02. This Is Always
03. Time After Time
04. The Wind
05. I Fall In Love Too Easily
06. You're My Thrill
07. Deep In A Dream
08. Let's Get Lost
09. My Ideal
10. The Thrill Is Gone
11. Look For The Silver Lining
12. But Not For Me