The relative rarity of vibraphonists in the history of jazz remains one of the musical genre’s true mysteries. Despite the natural beauty of the instrument’s sound and the historical importance and celebrated popularity of its most famous players – Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson – comparatively few artists have chosen to make the vibraphone their primary means of expression. Fortunately, Joe Baione has and on Oh Yeah!!! - his second outing as a leader and impressive successor to his distinguished debut The Superhero – he shows that the vibes and the mallets with which he plays them are in very good hands.
A native of the state of Delaware, Baione grew up in a jazz drenched musical environment. His father, the clarinetist-saxophonist-educator Jim Baione, is a graduate of Philadelphia’s prestigious Combs Conservatory of Music, where he earned both his B.A. and B.Mus.Ed. degrees and first met Joe’s musician mother, Barbara. The other musical members of the Baione family include Joe’s two older brothers, bassist Tom and guitarist Jimmy. Following in his father’s foot steps, Joe studied both music education and jazz performance, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1995. Since then he has gone on to become a passionate and creative band teacher by day and an energetic and innovative band leader and performer at night. Baione is also President of Delaware Charitable Music, Inc. and serves as producer of the annual Jazz, Blues & BBQ in the Park, a festival he co-founded with the mission of bringing live jazz and blues to the young people of his community.
In 2003, Joe had the good fortune to meet saxophonist/composer Benny Golson, when the jazz legend participated in a series of clinics and benefit concerts in Delaware. The two forged a lasting friendship and Golson became an important mentor to the vibraphonist, encouraging him to pursue his dual dream as a jazz musician and music educator. Golson’s appraisal of Baione as “a young man with vision who is able to realize the future today” is one that has inspired the young veteran vibist to reach for the stars. Following the release of his first album in 2005 the eminent jazz critic Dr. Herb Wong noted that ”Baione's CD is refreshing and not the same old rinky-tink sound you hear in vibe players today.” This disc delivers on the promise of that first effort and demonstrates the continued development of one of the most gifted mallet men in jazz today.
On Oh Yeah!!! Baione builds upon the success of The Superhero using the same stellar sextet instrumentation with one important addition to the lineup – that is the enlistment of veteran producer Todd Barkan as a member of the team. Barkan, who regularly worked with Hampton-Jackson-Hutcherson triumvirate of vibists (as well as many other of the music’s most important artists) during his years as owner of the legendary Keystone Korner says, “In addition to being one of the hardest swinging members of his generation of vibers, Joe consistently reaches his listeners with the distinctiveness of his musical voice as both a truly creative virtuoso on his instrument and an increasingly compelling composer. In short , both his playing and his tunes speak more and more clearly and strongly to us."
Baione's performance resume continues to grow. He has performed at the prestigious Rochester Int. Jazz Festival, Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay, Temecula Valley Jazz Festival, The Cape May Jazz Festival, Grand Marais Jazz Festival, The Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival, West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, Longwood Gardens Wine and Jazz Festival and The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Performance venues include, The Jazz Bakery, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in NYC's Lincoln Center, The Kimmel Center, The Iridium and Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia and Sydney's Blues and Jazz Restaurant, just to name a few. In the past two years Baione has opened for Michael Bolton, Monty Alexander, Joey DeFrancesco, Dave Brubeck and many others.
Baione has won several awards including "Teacher of the Year" in 2003, "Emerging Jazz Artist" in 2005 by Philadelphia Weekly and "Rising Star of Tomorrow" by Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Joe Baione NYC Sextet, Quartet, Trio
Jorge Castro-tenor sax
"Oh Yeah!!" (2008)
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A bebopper at heart, the Delaware-based vibraphonist Joe Baione plays with conviction on the burning...A bebopper at heart, the Delaware-based vibraphonist Joe Baione plays with conviction on the burning title track, then settles into some soulful grooves on the bluesy “Down Fuzz” and Milt Jackson’s signature “Bag’s Groove. He turns in a funky hip-hop flavored rendition of Miles Davis’ “All Blues”, renders Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” with refined elegance and switches to marimba on the infectious calypso number “Coconut Island.” Pianist Toru Dodo and tenor saxophonist Jorge Castro shine throughout.
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3 stars The vibraphone maintains its central place in jazz mostly through its mainstream storyte... 3 stars
The vibraphone maintains its central place in jazz mostly through its mainstream storytelling. For vibist/marimba player Joe Baione, Oh Yeah! plays like a live set without a program, which veers in and out of the blues with originals and a few jazz standards, his extended cast occasionally including horns.
Baione’s band starts things off with a couple of blues, including the snappy title track. The leader along with pianist Toru Dodo offer solid performances, and Baione’s use of drummer Jerome Jennings in different settings can be creative, such as when Jennings solos with urgency over the vamp that bassist Corcoran Holt gives him on “The Stranger.” When featured, trombonist Andrae Murchison and tenor saxophonist Jorge Castro add welcome color. Many times the leader will insert his swinging solo voice behind others, as he does on the band’s conventional reading of Milt Jackson’s “Bag’s Groove.” As Oh Yeah! proceeds, the moods change, with the styles becoming a potpourri- a Latin number (“J” Bossa), a ballad (a serene take on “Prelude to a Kiss”) and another blues (Miles Davis’ “All Blues” done up as an easygoing 4/4 funk piece.
-John Ephland, Downbeat
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Joe Baione is a fine vibraphonist most influenced by Milt Jackson and, to a lesser extent, Bobby Hut...Joe Baione is a fine vibraphonist most influenced by Milt Jackson and, to a lesser extent, Bobby Hutcherson. His Oh Yeah! CD is a no-nonsense set of straightahead jazz that matches his vibes with pianist Toru Dodd, bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Jerome Jennings, and occasionally tenor-saxophonist Jorge Castro and trombonist Andrae Murchison.
Of the nine selections, five are blues including the augmented “All Blues,” “Bags’ Groove” and two versions of “Oh Yeah” which open and close the set. Of the other selections, while “J Bossa” is similar to “Blue Bossa,” the exotic vamp original “The Stranger” is haunting and a highlight.
All of the musicians play well on this tasteful set, documented in New York City in 2007. While the players may not be individually famous, they improvise on the same high level as many of their better-known contemporaries. Bop fans will definitely enjoy Oh Yeah, which is available from www.joebaione.com.
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On his second recording as leader, vibraphonist JoeBaione delivers a scintillating nine-tune mix of ...On his second recording as leader, vibraphonist JoeBaione delivers a scintillating nine-tune mix of originals and standards with Jorge Castro (tenor sax), Andrae Murchsion (trombone), Toru Dodo (piano), Corcoran Holt (bass) and Jerome Jennings (drums). Recorded at The Studio in New York City on October 22, 2007, Baione and team serve up performances that bristle with energy and excitement as they work their way through Baione’s five originals and four standards. Most notable is Baione’s upbeat, Afro-Brazilian foray, “The Stranger.” The longest tune at 8:11-minutes, it features Baione on marimba, fine front-line solos from Murchison and Castro, as well as breakout solos from Jennings and Holt. Baione defers a lot to his side musicians who help him polish off a grooving
7:18-minute version of Milt Jackson’s “Bag’s Groove” that firmly establishes Baione’s mallets expertise in his intricate solo. Just about every vibraphonist has played that tune, but Baione and crew imaginatively refresh it. Other tunes include novel takes on Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” and two Latinate originals, “’J’ Bossa” and “Coconut Island.” The Delaware native grew up in a musical family. His father is a reeds player/educator, his mother is a musician and his two older brothers play bass and guitar. Baione studied music education and jazz performance, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1995.
Baione is a band teacher and co-founder and producer of an annual jazz-blues festival. His 2005 debut release, The Superhero, employed the same sextet instrumentation. From bossas to ballads to blues, Baione and team commendably collaborate on the diverse mix of tunes, making “Oh Yeah!” a very listener-friendly session. Available at cdbaby.com and Amazon, among other sources. “
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“This CD is eclectically designed, with compositions mostly by Joe Baione, and a few by Miles Davis,...“This CD is eclectically designed, with compositions mostly by Joe Baione, and a few by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Lem Winchester, and Milt Jackson. Each track has its own sound and style, with vivacious vibes or marimba, and an occasional explosion of brass, percussion, and bass. Once in awhile, there’s also a melancholy mood, surprisingly mixed in the selection. I chose Baione’s own compositions to comment on below, as each has unique rhythm and musicality.
#3 – The Stranger – Composed by Joe Baione. This track breathes mystery in tones that echo in fused instrumentation. Baione’s vibes and Murchison’s trombone take off with deep drama, before Castro’s sax comes in with a more rapid, atonal dimension.
#5 – "J” Bossa – Composed by Joe Baione. This piece features each artist independently, with six merging solos. Toru Dodo’s piano passages accent the Bossa Nova tones against Baione’s vibes, all the while creating a soothing, sultry mood. Jorge Castro’s tenor sax and Corcoran Holt’s bass have their own melting interpretations, with each instrument expanding on the other.
#7 – Coconut Island – Composed by Joe Baione. Again, each instrument, including Baione on marimba this time, is featured in a rolling tribute to Caribbean culture. The marimba evokes surreal, sensual imagery, and Andrae Murchison’s trombone passage is especially appealing.
#9 – Oh Yeah!!! – Composed by Joe Baione. This title track has two versions, and here it’s straight jazz, with a hint of Swing. The brass take s a rest, and piano, drums, bass, and vibes take off on a wild ride of improvisational excellence, in upbeat, driven tones. Jerome Jennings has his solos, and these solos truly sizzle. Oh Yeah!!! is an explosive performance piece. “
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"In addition to being one of the hardest swinging members of his generation of vibers, Joe consisten..."In addition to being one of the hardest swinging members of his generation of vibers, Joe consistently reaches his listeners with the distinctiveness of his musical voice as both a truly creative virtuoso on his instrument and an increasingly compelling composer. In short , both his playing and his tunes speak more and more clearly and strongly to us." “The most important thing about jazz music is telling your own story in your own way, and Joe has a unique style of his own.” “He is one of the most compelling and exciting young jazz musicians in the world.”
"In him you have a young man with vision who is able to realize the future today."
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I'd like to add an "amen" to "Oh, Yeah!!" by Joe Baione. Not only does Joe have, clean quick techn...I'd like to add an "amen" to "Oh, Yeah!!" by Joe Baione. Not only does
Joe have, clean quick technique, he composes pieces with lush, unusual
horn voicings that echo his fleet melodic lines. We welcome Joe Baione
to the vibes brotherhood and hope to hear more!
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"Joe Baione is an excellent example of the new breed of jazz musician -- well educated in the form a..."Joe Baione is an excellent example of the new breed of jazz musician -- well educated in the form and its tradition and equally at home on the bandstand or the classroom. Thanks to him and his young colleagues, the commonly asked question of whether there is a future for this music can be answered with a resounding Oh Yeah!!!."
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“Baione is a valuable, vibrant, vibraphonist and this session produced by Todd Barkan is a winner. A...“Baione is a valuable, vibrant, vibraphonist and this session produced by Todd Barkan is a winner. A straight ahead outing by Joe’s sextet which includes, “Bags’ Groove”, “All Blues” and “Prelude To A Kiss” plus material by Lem Winchester and the leader.
Rating: 8.5 / 10”
Set List contains an original, blues, standard, latin, contemporary and a ballad at various tempos.
Example Set List:
The Stranger- original
Oh Yeah!!!- original
Bags' Groove- blues
Alone Together- standard
Hot Mama- original
Coconut Island- original
Prelude to a Kiss- ballad
Blue Bossa- latin
J Bossa- original
Well You Needn't- contemporary
Body and Soul- ballad
Sets typically are 40-45 minutes separated by a 20 minute break.