Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chetty's Lullaby

I fell in love with this song. It was sung in Italian. At the time a mother and her two sons were training. She taught Italian and I gave her a cd of the song and she was gracious enough to transcribe it for me. She translated it also, but I no longer have a copy of that. It was written, I believe, by Chet Baker for his son Chet Jr. with his second wife Halema, a beautiful Indi-Pakistani woman who is featured in some memorable William Claxton photos which made it to some memorable album covers. Even though it seems a romantic song it is a lullaby to Chet's young son.

If I were playing it now I would follow Marianne's very capable playing much better than I did two years ago. And the trumpet work is somewhat primitive by what I can do now. But having listened to it recently, I thought the whole thing works enough to present it. Today is the twenty second anniversary of the day Chet passed. He fell out of the window of the Prinze Henri hotel in Amsterdam. His death was somewhat mysterious. There is speculation he was killed. That he committed suicide. At this point we'll probably never be certain. And the original is available on youtube if you type in his name and the song's title. It is very beautiful. But his music is still alive and still inspiring people, and that is the point in presenting this. I had to learn the lyrics in Italian, which was challenging. I had to remember them. Which was hard. But then I memorized Amatsu Norito and Kami Goto in Japanese, and that is exponentially harder, believe me.

The performance was organized by Maurice Gregoire, who at the time was running the Peninsula Regent. Even though it was way to soon to do a gig, it had the effect of my learning some songs and continuing with music. Chet spent about 9 months in an italian jail, and , by his own account in his incomplete autobiography" AS Though I Had Wings", came out speaking fluent Italian. By the way, the book is an interesting read. Chet was a music major at El Camino College in Southern California, with a minor in English. I think he could have been a writer if that is what he wanted. Apparently he drove so fast that his pianist, Russ Freeman, refused to ride with him. And he told his wife Carol that if he could not be a musician, he would have been a race car driver.

So now we go back to late March of 2008:

3 Comments:

Blogger Barbara said...

Veglierò,
questa notte solo per te,
dolce bimbo ti dirò che presto tornerò,
senza te,
sento gelo nel mio cuor,
cerco solo
l'illusione
di averti qui con me...
torneran per me le stelle,
nel mio cielo senza più nubi...
sogni d'or,
scendon lievi verso te,
dormi caro che domani,
col sol ti bacerò...

I will watch over you tonight, only for you,
Sweet baby I will tell you I will soon be back,
Without you
I feel cold in my heart,
I search only for the illusion
of having you here with me...
The stars will be back for me,
in my sky without clouds anymore,
sweet dreams,
they fall down lightly over you,
sleep my dear, that tomorrow,
with the sun I will kiss you...

4:42 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:44 PM  
Blogger jack wada said...

Thank you for providing the lyrics and translation, I had these in the distant past but cannot at present locate them.

6:04 PM  

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