Robert Baird

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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 21, 2014 0 comments
I know folks, dedicated jazz fans no less, who cannot be dragged into piano and bass duo gigs. Something about not having a drummer spells boredom for them. Not enough going on I guess. Or more likely, there isn't a horn at work. While jazz virtuosity is most often thought of in terms of the more ostentatious sounds of saxophones and trumpets, and the most common perception of jazz groups is quartets or quintets, it's the duo format, at its most pure piano and bass, that has always inspired a special vocabulary and sonic signature. Just a pair of instrumental voices and musical visions engenders the kind of special chemistry and quiet connections that can be heard on the new Kenny Barron and Dave Holland project, the appropriately named The Art of Conversation.
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 19, 2014 1 comments
The story is familiar. The British Invasion caused a deadly tsunami in the American music scene. Established stars, from Elvis to John Lee Hooker to Tony Bennett, saw their careers swept away in a matter of months in 1964. Few groups were impacted quite like the Beach Boys, whose resident genius, Brian Wilson, went into an emotional tailspin trying to compete with the Beatles . . .
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 10, 2014 4 comments
Streaming has taken over the world. Not so fast, at least to Sony’s way of thinking.
Robert Baird Posted: Oct 08, 2014 1 comments
Fifty-four years after it was recorded, Hank Mobley's immortal Soul Station has become a tale of two LPs.

One, the original pressing (mono or stereo), is an artifact, an insanely valuable antique, the object of fevered jazz collectors the world over.

The other is a fresh vinyl reissue, cut from a high-resolution digital remastering of the original master tapes, that's meant to bring in younger listeners, or those interested enough in the music that they'll pay $19.95 for a new LP.

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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 26, 2014 3 comments
Do the singles in this boxed set which features a quality pressing job and nice if no frills packaging sound better than the CDs that both Rhino and the pair’s own label mentioned above have been releasing over the years?
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 26, 2014 4 comments
I blame Asia, Gogmagog, and Bad English because let’s face it Cream and Derek & the Dominos made fantastic music and weren’t around long enough to annoy anybody.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 12, 2014 1 comments
For the musically literate it’s an old story but one that I never tire of telling. It was the scruffy, outlaw country singer warbling Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and the Gershwins? He wasn’t singer enough to carry it, they all said. And even if by some miracle he did, his label was convinced it would never find an audience, it would never sell. When Booker T. Jones of Stax Records fame signed on as producer, heads were scratched, skeptical eyes rolled northward and virtually everyone had their doubts.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 05, 2014 9 comments
And then there was Pono! Or not. Despite prompt denials by the folks at Pono, it now seems likely that the still mythical, high resolution music player will not be delivered to customers, who to date have kicked in $13 million via Crowdfunder and Kickstarter, until early 2015.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 04, 2014 1 comments
Universal Music is gonna throw a listening party, open the public, to preview the 14 LP The Beatles in Mono boxed set, at Electric Lady Studios in NY (Sept. 8) and the GRAMMY Museum in LA (Sept. 10).
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 03, 2014 1 comments
He was a victim of his own success. From 1925 to 1929, when he was in his mid-20s, Louis Armstrong changed the world of jazz music forever with his Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, and his solos in tunes like "Cornet Chop Suey," "Potato Head Blues," and "West End Blues." Almost immediately, however, he was faced with a question: Now what?

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