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11

THURSDAY

Known for his liner notes to an Ella Fitzgerald box set—which nearly netted him a Grammy in 1996—writer James Gavin aims his probing pen at another jazz legend in his new book, Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker. Following the trail of estranged wives, bandmates, groupies, junkie-buddies, and industry rivals in Baker’s wake, Gavin takes a lengthy look at the tormented trumpeter’s tragic tale, from mother-smothered childhood to musical stardom to narcotic-abusing infamy. Gateway theorists will find plenty of fodder for argument here: Baker began his pharmaceutical-fueled odyssey as a seemingly in-control pot puffer but wound up a paranoid smack addict, whose musical ties offered him only easy access to more junk. Because the long fall from grace for this so-called James Dean of Jazz concluded with his skull smashed on an Amsterdam sidewalk, controversy ensued: Was it suicide? Or murder over a drug debt? Gavin will undoubtedly give his take alongside WPFW’s Willard Jenkins at 7 p.m. at Borders, 18th and L Streets NW. Free. (202) 466-4999. (Chris Shott)