Poetry and artwork - Henry Denander

Chet Baker at Fasching

Chet Baker came to Stockholm to play the Fasching Jazz Club.
He called and I went to see him at his hotel. We had spent some
time together in London the year before and he was one of my
jazz heroes.

At the Salvation Army hotel I was shown to his room but Chet
hardly wanted to open the door, he just took the recordings I
brought him and we chatted briefly. He had a friend in there, a
Swedish jazz musician and the hotel room was filled with sweet
and heavy smoke. I left and we said we would talk more at the
jazz club that night.

In between sets at Fasching I tried to get in contact with Chet
but his friend was really nervous and the same sweet smoke
came out of Chet’s dressing room. I said hi to Chet & his band
but soon the Swedish friend closed the door.

I was the financial director of Chet’s record company in
Sweden; I was a bean counter but not a police officer. Chet
knew this, we had been drunk together in London, but his friend
from Sweden maybe thought I was with the drug enforcement

I left them and went back to my friends at the bar and got drunk
on beer and Jaegermeister.

Chet’s playing that night at Fasching was absolutely beautiful,
the tone of his trumpet and voice was so very soft and he
sounded better than ever.

Or maybe it was just because we were
high, Chet and I?




Published in Weeks Like This, 2005