As we have discovered first hand, everything changes with age. This generally is true of singing voices as well. Our favorite singers can no longer hit the same range of notes they once did and/or their voice has taken on raspier, hoarser shadings. It is no longer that crystal clear soaring sound that it once was. Is this a bad thing?Not necessarily. It depends on what you are looking for when you listen to music. If purity of tone and accuracy of pitch is everything to you, then maybe aged voices aren't for you. For the rest of us though, such singers can bring a whole new range of emotional shadings into singing their songs.
Baker made it to age 58 when he fell off the roof of a hotel (or was pushed). Most speculated that he once again had crossed the wrong drug dealer. For if ever someone had overdone it with drink, drugs and women, it was Chet. His jaw and teeth had been torn apart in a fight so that he had to come back singing and playing with false teeth.
Although I really, really like the young, perfect Chet Baker, it is when you listen to the older Chet Baker that you feel your heart come undone. His singing voice is truly broken but he makes it work. His rendition of Almost Blue at the end of his life, both singing and playing it, is magnificent. Bruce Weber made a fantastic film of the life of Chet Baker called Let's Get Lost. It is a documentary and holds # 1 position in documentaries for me. I own the film and almost all of his albums. He recorded so much that it is quite a feat to track them all down.