“Chet Baker’s Grave” – a poem by Freddington

August 9th, 2020

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photo by Michiel Hendryckx / CC BY-SA

Chet Baker (1929–1988)

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Chet Baker’s Grave

A marker for memory,
a last thought,
for the trumpet that opened the gates
at the end of the world,
and passed on into forever.
Exploring without a map,
without hesitation,
he wandered far,
in spite of adversity,
and bad decisions.
Calm and cool,
uptempo and down,
he is still traveling,
stepping on sunbeams,
navigating eternity.

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___

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Freddington works as a shipper/receiver in Toronto, Canada, and has been a lifelong jazz fan ever since he was “corrupted” as a teenager by Charles Mingus’ “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.”

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Watch a 1964 filmed performance of Chet Baker playing “Time After Time”

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5 comments on ““Chet Baker’s Grave” – a poem by Freddington”

  1. Wow! Freddington: This is really a great poem, that I felt a great deal. You have really caught
    a lot of the essence of Chet. Most poems, I really like to quote a couple of lines, that are the
    best, but I would have to quote the whole poem!!!! One I really liked that really nails down
    the end is, “He is still traveling, stepping on sunbeams, navigating eternity.” Over the last few
    years, I have collected a great deal of Chet’s Cd’s. One that you really might like is “The Chet
    Baker Collection,” which has a music book, and Cd you can play along with. Or, just look at
    Chet playing the notes. I play trumpet, and I will tell you …. one of Chet’s major strengths,
    is that he makes his music sound flowing and simple, but it is much more complicated. I could keep up with the first part of “Let’s Get Lost,” but on his solo, even what seemed at a slower pace, it was
    way too fast for me. What a subtle artist, REALLY!!! Best Wishes, Alan.

    1. I’m glad to hear you liked the poem. I agree 100% about Chet’s talent-I would describe it as understated, but always excellent. Even all those later records on European labels like Steeplechase, or Timeless, Enja, Sonet, Dragon etc., etc. are all great. We are only limited to how many of his albums we would like to keep in the house.
      -Cheers-

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