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Mike Baker

Certain individuals, such as for example bank loan officials, might speculate that Mike Baker produced more money in a single year of functioning as Whitney Houston’s drummer and music director after that in his whole profession in jazz. He provides referred to himself in interviews as “the final from the dinosaurs,” probably a mention of the diminishing rates of pop performers who could in fact play anything resembling a good beat if equipped only with a set of drumsticks. Alternatively, dinosaurs are extinct, and Baker isn’t; neither is certainly he the final of anything. He’s of a breed of dog whose ranks appear healthy and developing, comprising seasoned jazz veterans who provide their abilities into different realms from the spirit and pop galaxies. Frequently, behind the moments players such as for example Baker should have the credit when pop music noises good, instead of crappy. After graduating from the North Tx State College or university jazz plan in the past due ’70s, Baker in addition has stated his education after that began; this time around, the statement bands totally accurate despite nonetheless it might irritate academics. He became a member of up with the Clark Terry music group, and discovered the learning of swing fundamentals at the control of the trumpet grasp as something comparable to training. From right here Baker rose to the blissful luxury lounge of his career, dealing with this succession of market leaders: organist Jimmy Smith, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Baker was an associate of the last mentioned artist’s Zawinul Syndicate. There actually couldn’t have already been a better part of which to embracing pop music, since Zawinul’s first melody “Mercy Mercy” was among the best jazz chart strikes when documented by Cannonball Adderley. A number of the first recorded types of Baker vocalizing are on his materials using the Zawinul Syndicate. Baker’s history in dance can be worthy of noting. He participated in the song-and-dance revue Advanced Ladies, researched ballet himself, and provides followed dancers Gregory Hines and Harold Nicholas. With the past due ’90s, he may also be said to experienced Giorgia on his brain. In 1996 he became included creating the Italian vocalist, herself an excellent enthusiast of Houston, and the partnership has resulted in a small number of Compact disc releases which gladly feature his drumming. Baker in addition has done preparations for Aretha Franklin, and in 2002 documented a swing task with Bruce Hornsby.

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