Chesney “Chet” Baker (1929–1988) was a trumpet and flugelhorn player and singer closely associated with the sounds of West Coast, and cool jazz.
In the early 1950s, Baker played bebop with the likes of Stan Getz and Charlie Parker. But it was his partnership with baritone player Gerry Mulligan, characterised by interweaving, contrapuntal melodic lines, which garnered attention. His languid, androgynous singing voice gave Baker his biggest hit with “My Funny Valentine”. Unfortunately, his life was plagued by drug addiction. From the early 1970’s, he staged multiple comebacks with limited success, but found a new audience when he contributed a trumpet solo on Elvis Costello’s 1986 song “Shipbuilding”.