I have a better than before website thanks to help from Paul and Neva Chevalier.
Plus I have been doing a lot of music work which I love. To contribute to the sound from the bottom of it all is a special pleasure for me especially with musicians I relate to and who appreciate what I bring.
Now for me to make my website even better I need to blog a little more often. That’s how this WordPress deal rolls. On the pages of the site are lots of cool more “permanent things” for you who want to go into it. I think the blog comes up first in a lot of formats so I’ll do what I can to inform you more often of my current musical activities. So here goes!
This coming Saturday evening October 14, 2017 I will perform special arrangements of Thelonius Monk music arranged by James Leary for his Bass Choir—5 acoustic basses and Clayton Cameron on drums. We’ll be at the World Stage at 8:00 pm as part of the tenth annual Angel City Jazz Festival celebrating Monk’s centennial. This performance is part of World Music Days, an organization founded by Daniel Pearl’s parents to promote peace through music. Harmony for Humanity is their slogan. October is the month of Daniel Pearl’s birthday so World Music Days celebrate his memory during the month of October. Daniel Pearl grew up in Encino. He was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and he also played violin jamming with people he met all over the world on his journalist assignments. He was executed by terrorists in 2002. There was a movie made about him (Angelina Jolie). In his memory any performers who wish to acknowledge him are invited to do so during October.
I look forward to performing this season with the Cal Tech Symphony at the Ramo Auditorium on the Cal Tech campus in Pasadena CA under the direction of conductor Dr. Allen R. Gross. Our upcoming concert is scheduled for matinees on November 18 (2:30 pm) and November 19 (3:30 pm). These are open to the public at no charge.
I have currently released an album of songs entitled “Good Vibes” recorded and produced by my team. The music is available to hear online (at this website). Specially packaged physical copies are available in limited supply. The music is all done by three people, myself, Tyler Combs and Ken Park pretty much first takes–a “live in the studio” concept recorded and mixed by Paul Chevalier.
Thank you to all the band leaders who give me a great variety of things to do, please continue! My calendar at the website will let you know how the dates are happening. In addition thanks to all the fans and friends who support my endeavors. The beat goes on……..
I got a good review when I least expected it. The gig was with Jimmy McConnell Quintet at the Valley Jazz Club. “Leslie Baker played a unique compact “traveling bass” with surprising full, rich sound proving it’s value to the band with her very active playing, showing off her skills as both a motivated supportive and feature player” Harvey Barkan Los Angeles Jazz Scene newspaper September 2016.
Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer and the Blues Allstars which includes me on bass, Albert Trepangnier from New Orleans on drums, Tadj Galleran on keyboard, George Van Wagner on guitar and Tyler Combs on vibes has a couple of videos out that are breaking my personal records for worldwide views.
There is no charge for this performance. We will be recording live. Our presentation is very much a crossover of Jazz and Classical. We will be performing Claude Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio in it’s entirety (7 movements) and a few additional pieces to round out the program. This is under the auspices of Tuesday Musicale. The fabulous musicians who will join me for this new adventure are Flutist Ruth Kasckow, Drummer Kenny Park and pianists Chris Glik and Alan Geier . It is a lovely place with parking and additional parking if lots fill also at no charge. It is my sincere hope to fill the room with friends, fans and interested parties on that Sunday afternoon October 9 in Pasadena!
My own review of the debut performance Leslie Baker and Friends…..I am very pleased with how we played together and so grateful for the wonderful audience who gave us a standing ovation. Also big thanks to the organization Tuesday Musicale who in concert with the Pasadena Public Library sponsored the concert. We have recordings. More news on that later.
Leslie Baker and Friends, the chamber group has come up with a new name for the group.
“Lotus flowers often appear in images of the Buddha. It is a symbol of things which are pure and good. A lotus is a flower that begins its life in the mud at the bottom of a pond and then rises to the surface to flower. It therefore reminds people that in the same way, people can rise above their problems and achieve enlightenment.”
Purity and rebirth are attributes I came across referring to what the Lotus Flower represents. It was a true pleasure to participate this year in a well established festival with a purpose to promote understanding. Special thanks to all who made special effort to make our band set go well and get some documentation of it. You know who you are.