We Remember Marty

This collection of jazz standards capturing the very swinging pianist Marty Harris with myself on bass is a collaboration with  Dave DeFore, recording engineer Dori Amarillio and the OK Corral recording room.  Drums were added to piano bass tracs recorded and mixed by Paul  Chevalier.
Marty was a  supremely swinging, passionate, one-of-a-kind character whose personality oozes thru his playing. I did many a gig with him over most of my professional life.  Marty Harris is unforgettable. Thankfully  here are recordings of us playing together for you all to enjoy.
There was only one take for almost every tune as Marty & I played to a click with the idea of making music minus drums.
Our sponsor, drummer Dave DeFore wanted this recording to prepare himself for upcoming jobs he had booked Marty and me for.
Marty’s health situation became serious. The cancer was taking him away from us.
Our tracks came out better than expected. After all when Marty and I recorded this in 2010 we were just doing it for Dave DeFore. I wanted to bring those tracks to life and light. Many outstanding drummers who knew Marty agreed to fill in those drum parts and give the music the sound that is classic to Jazz—Piano, Bass and Drums.  They are Paul Kreibich, Billy Paul, George Green, Jack LeCompte. On 1 track there is up and comer Tsugumi Shikano on drums. He also adds percussion along with Richard Cantu adding congas on just 2 of the 11 tracks.  I  thank them all for coming on board to make this happen.
So Marty, with this tribute to knowing you so long I send my love and appreciation of your outstanding talent. Thanks for being a hard swingin’ cat.

with gratitude from one of your bass players,

Leslie Baker

My suggestion, if you like wine, is to find that hour to kick back with the bottle as you enjoy Piano Jazz Trio renditions of familiar songs of the Great American Songbook as played in a way that is so unique to the wild sensibilities of Marty Harris.

Below are the singles as they were pre-released.  If you want to hear the whole album without interruption,  clicking above (11 tracs) will give you our most complete version of this very special endeavor.

 Photo by Joe Weinroth

 Photo by Joe Weinroth

 Photo by Joe Weinroth

 Photo by Joe Weinroth

 Photo by Joe Weinroth

Drummer Billy Paul on Lady is a Tramp, It’s Only a Paper Moon, and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Drummer George Green on They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Drummer Tsugumi Shikano on A Foggy Day
Drums recorded and mixed by Paul  Chevalier at the ok corral

Marty & Lou
Marty & Lou

WOW E WOW!!  Great stuff!  — James Janisse, Jazz Radio DJ.

Marty’s response to a person requesting a song he never heard of:  “what planet are you from” The person could have asked that of Marty too.–Jack LeCompte, drummer

He could do more talking between tunes than any other musician I ever worked with.  I loved him. –Perlene Thurston, vocalist

Leslie, your talents continue to evolve.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Al Aarons — trumpet for Count Basie and numerous recording dates.

Hi Leslie,
What a nice surprise to hear you and Marty and some of our favorite drummers…gives me some good ideas. I really miss playing with you and Marty and was blessed to be able to play a set with him at the last Sweet & Hot Festival.
Take care my friend,                                                                                      David DeFore

The history of this project is quite interesting.  It started out as a demo for businessman/drummer Dave DeFore.  Marty and Leslie went into Dori Amarillio’s studio and laid down the piano and bass duo tracks as requested by Dave. Around the same time, sadly, Marty had been diagnosed   with colon cancer, this changed the complexion and added a special ‘gravitas’ to the date.

The great Marty Harris who had been the swinging pianist for the likes of Woody Herman, Anita O’ Day, Joe Williams, Diana Ross (9 years), Tom Jones, Teddy Edwards, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Buddy Rich and Jack Sheldon among many others was now gravely ill.  Marty had been one to to always ‘tell it like it is’ and he faced his disease bravely.  During this time, as always in his life, Marty never edited what he thought.  To further that point, he told me over coffee that he was impressed by Leslie’s playing, knowledge and that “she really came through” on this recording.  A high compliment from Marty, indeed!

It should be noted that I, too, had to earn Marty’s respect.  First, with Jack Sheldon’s band in the 1980’s and eventually I had the high honor of being his main drummer from 2006 until his passing in 2011.  He is greatly missed on the jazz scene as a player and as a person.

And, thus, this collection.  Leslie, along with recording engineer Paul Chevalier at O.K. Corral Productions decided to add drummers to the tracks. In it’s modest way, it keeps the music, groove and spirit of Marty’s music alive

I believe I speak for all of us involved that it has been an honor and pleasure to play, once again, with the great Marty Harris.

Leslie, your playing, spirit, energy, drive, talent and organizational skills are all apparent and integral to the fruition of this project.

I believe Marty would have been proud.

Billy Paul

Marty Harris and Billy Paul
Marty Harris and Billy Paul. Photo by Joe Weinroth.

Dear Leslie,

I’m writing to congratulate you for putting together and releasing your wonderful “We Remember Marty” production.  I’m really enjoying listening to each of the tunes and hearing you and each of the individual drummers playing with Marty again.  Marty was truly special and it’s great to hear what a loving and special job was done in producing this tribute!  It sounds terrific! Once again Leslie, thanks for saving and sharing these moments with Marty with all of us.  Nice!

Thanks again,
Lou Shoch


L to R: Marty Harris, Lou Shoch, Jack LeCompte. Front: Doug McDonald
L to R: Marty Harris, Lou Shoch, Jack LeCompte. Front: Doug McDonald. Photo by Cory Carson
The website with Marty’s tunes looks great. I’m so glad you followed through and did it. Its a fitting tribute to a great player and a wonderful cat.
It was nice to be a part of it.
Paul Kreibich


Marty Harris
Marty Harris

Thanks for such a nice gift. What a pleasure to hear the joyous sound of Marty Harris playing his music. It brings back such great memories. As a young bassist starting out, he was a huge influence. His way of gently teaching me the tunes and then taking me for a wild, swinging ride on them is something I’ll never forget.
To this day, I’ll be playing a tune I learned from Marty, in whatever situation, and I’ll find myself playing “his changes”. It’s like a warm hug.
Your dedication and determination to put this music in the world is simply brilliant.
A gift for all that knew, loved and played with him. And then some…

Trey Henry