Song 70: Chet Baker, “Blue Room” (1953)

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Speaking of spirituality, this one is almost meditative in its simplicity, and I don’t think it would be nearly as great with instrumentation. The fact that it’s only a voice makes it sound incredibly meaningful, even though lyrically, it’s very intimate, and almost gamelike. Like many Stephin Merritt songs, it’s almost a rhyming game, an exercise in repetition. Maybe that’s part of the meditation too.

This is another song I first heard on WERS, driving to work. The Internet tells me that Rodgers and Hart wrote the song for their musical The Girl Friend, and though Chet Baker recorded it in 1953, his rendition remained unreleased until it was featured on the 2002 Baker collection Deep in a Dream. I could listen to other versions, but I don’t think I want to — this version exists in its own space, and I don’t want a basis for comparison. It’s pretty amazing as it is, spare and self-explanatory. Why would you need instruments?

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