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Askew

Leslie Baker

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Album Review

Bassist Leslie Baker (who had picked up experience playing in many different settings in the Los Angeles area) made her debut as a leader on this CD, a mostly straight-ahead bop date that has a fair amount of variety. Baker teams up with flutist Steve Fowler, pianist Phil Wright, guitarist Terry Evans, drummer Billy Paul and singer Earl Alexander. Baker and Wright contributed two originals apiece, Fowler brought in the catchy "One Door Opens" and the quintet also plays seven standards (including two Versions of "Sometime Ago"). Although the leader takes several bass solos (including on Oscar Pettiford's "Tricotism," "Squeeze Me but Please Don't Tease Me"), and bowed on "Gentle Rain," she does not dominate the music and often features Wright, Fowler or Evans (who is showcased on Wes Montgomery's "Road Song") as the lead voices on various tunes. Most of the music is taken at relaxed tempos and the overall effect is both tasteful and swinging with a few bossa novas included for contrast. An impressive effort.

Biography

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A talented acoustic bassist who has long been a fixture in the Los Angeles area, Leslie Baker began studying music and playing bass when she was six. Her first professional job was when she was 12 and she considers her most important teacher and main mentor to have been Red Callender. Baker has played with a wide variety of jazz and blues artists including the L.A. Jazz Society All-Stars, Barbara Morrison, Floyd Dixon (she has recorded with the latter three), Willie Dixon, Bill Doggett, Earl Palmer,...
Full Bio
Askew, Leslie Baker
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop, Hard Bop
  • Released: Jan 01, 1997

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