Reviewer’s grade: B
Through trumpet and voice, Chet Baker produced some of the most romantic sounds in the history of jazz. He was also a sorry sonovabitch, a user of people and drugs who manipulated loved ones as easily as he mastered the valves of a trumpet. That gap between brilliant musician and troubled man is explored in “Let’s Get Lost,” an absorbing 1989 documentary now in re-release and showing Thursday through Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Filmed in glorious black and white, “Let’s Get Lost” follows Baker in the course of 1987, more than 30 years after the Oklahoma native had burst onto the West Coast jazz scene after being discovered by sax great Charlie Parker. Alternating between Fifties-era footage and the then-present of 1987, filmmaker Bruce Weber inches toward the more unsavory aspects of his subject. Interviews with Baker’s associates and string of girlfriends reveal a man of extraordinary talent and unhealthy appetites. “He was bad,” says one ex-lover. “He was trouble, and he was beautiful.” NR