From Analog Tape

Shades of Chet: A Tribute to Chet Baker

Enrico Rava, Enzo Pietropaoli, Paolo Fresu, Roberto Gatto, Stefano Bollani

(1 customer review)
(4 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: Analog Tape
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After a highly successful tour, Shades of Chet was released in 1999. This album is an absolute reference album for Italian jazz.

It originated from the project known as “Tribute to Chet Baker” featuring the five most famous Italian jazz musicians in the world: Enrico Rava (trumpet and flugelhorn), Paolo Fresu (trumpet and flugelhorn), Stefano Bollani (piano), Enzo Pietropaoli (double bass) and Roberto Gatto (drums).

In 1998, on the 10th anniversary of the death of Chet Baker, Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu, conceived the project of a series of concerts dedicated to Chet Baker. The tribute to the great trumpet player, with whom three members of the tribute group played (Rava, Pietropaoli and Gatto) is immediately understood not just in the sense of tribute, but in the sense of revival: in the style of the leaders, both so close to the poetics of Baker, in the choice of songs (not just those made famous by Baker, but also those he loved , although he played them rarely), in short, in the recreation of an atmosphere, crystallized in those golden 1950s, the years of troubled youth of Baker, to which most of the songs can be traced back.

One of the album’s unique features is that the leaders of the quintet (Rava and Frescu) are recorded on two different channels (Rava the left, Fresu the right).  In addition, both have done one song solo or “alone”, in a personal homage: to Chet Baker. The solo tracks are Enrico Rava on “Retrato em branco and preto” (composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim) and Paolo Fresu on “You Can Not Go Home Again” (composed by Don Sebesky).

Shades of Chet was produced by Biagio Pagano and Mario Guidi for Millesuoni Sri.  It was recorded by Giulio Cesare Ricci using his Signoricci system, entirely in analog using tube microphones and electronics. The Analog Master was recorded with the Ampex ATR 102 2 track at 1/2 inch 30ips. Mr. Ricci used dCS Analog to DSD converters to transfer the Analog Master Tape to Stereo DSD 64 to create this very special DSD release.

It’s absolutely a must have!

Enrico Rava – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Paolo Fresu – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Stefano Bollani – Piano
Enzo Pietropaoli – Double Bass
Roberto Gatto – Drums


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
My Funny Valentine
Retrato Em Branco E Preto
You Can't Go Home Again
Line For Lyons
Strike Up The Band

Total time: 00:58:17

Additional information





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Digital Converters

dCS A/D and D/A Converters

Mastering Engineer

Giulio Cesare Ricci – Analog to DSD Transfer

Microphone Preamp



Neumann U47, U48, M49 Valve (Tube) Microphones

Original Recording Format


Biagio Pagano and Mario Guidi for Millesuoni Sri

Recording Engineer

Giulio Cesare Ricci

Recording Location

Studio Diapason in Rome, Italy on May 17-18, 1999

Recording Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies

Recording Type & Bit Rate


Release DateMay 23, 2019

Press reviews

NativeDSD Listener

I have a number of the Fone releases from NativeDSD. This Italian label is superb in sonics and realism.

My highest recommendation for Shades of Chet: A Tribute to Chet Baker. Just Awesome! Wish I could find more of those jazz musicians!!

NativeDSD Listener

Shades of Chet is a superb jazz album, and one of the best-sounding jazz DSD releases.

Download it now and share it with friends and fellow jazz lovers at your New Year’s Eve party!

HR Audio.Net 5 out of 5

Shades of Chet is a new DSD release sourced from an analog master tape of a recording session made in 1999. In a sense, it revisits the original function of DSD, which was intended as an archiving tool to preserve analog masters in a digital format that closely replicated the sound character of the original.

The reissue of this set, which, to my knowledge, was not widely distributed in the US, preserves a superb analog master tape and shares with a wider listenership an outstanding performance by preeminent Italian jazz musicians.

It’s ironic that Chet Baker, one of the most self-destructive and self-centered personalities in jazz culture, left behind in the wreckage of his life a collection of performances that so profoundly affect listeners and fellow musicians. In their liner notes, trumpet players Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu speak of the impact on their playing of Baker’s poetry and emotional expressiveness.

For this session, Rava and Fresu selected nine tunes drawn from Baker’s early recordings with the Gerry Mulligan group through his late-1970s large ensemble performances arranged by Don Sebesky. The use of two trumpets or flugelhorns, open and muted, demanded an unusually careful balance between the brass voices. The soloists, a generation apart in age, have enough differences in timbre and similarities in phrasing to mold the set of song-form pieces into an affecting musical statement.

Chet Baker’s trumpet playing and vocal performances are inextricable—two instruments with one common voice. Pianist Stefano Bolani and bassist Enzo Pietropaoli are both well-equipped to play in a lyrical, cantabile style that evokes Baker’s unique vocal character. Drummer Roberto Gatto offers sympathetic support to the horn soloists and adds propulsive energy to the rhythm section.

The original recording was engineered with close attention to the positioning of the instruments in a studio acoustic. The piano sound is vividly three-dimensional, and the upright bass has unexaggerated warmth and presence. Fonè Records chief Giulio Cesare Ricci’s transfer to DSD preserves the analog character of the original.

A translation from Signor Ricci’s technical notes:

“The mastering was done by Giulio Cesare Ricci using the entirely analog and tube “Signoricci” system. The master was realized by sending to a dCS A/D DSD converter the analog master recorded on an Ampex ATR 102, 2 track, 1/2 inch, 30 ips.”

Performance: 5 out of 5 Stars, Sound Quality: 5 out of 5 Stars


Let me start by saying I love this album. A tribute to Jazz Trumpeter & Flugelhorn player Chet Baker. Enrico Rava leads this quintet of musicians for a recording of 9 selections from people like Rodgers & Hart, George Gershwin, Sonny Rollins, and Charlie Parker. Rava is joined by Paolo Fresu, Stefano Bollani, Enzo Pietropaoli, and Roberto Gatto.

I found the selection, a collection of standards and less familiar tunes, to be much to my liking. The interpretation of these songs was very involving and moving. The performances are exceptional and so is the recording.

My recommendation is to hurry and get this one before it’s gone.

1 review for Shades of Chet: A Tribute to Chet Baker

    Great performance and excellent recording.

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Fonè 185 albums

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