Wade Baker
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Wade Baker

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Jazz R&B


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"CD Review: Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration"

On October 17th, Cincinnati Jazz Trumpeter Wade Baker officially released his first CD from the group of his namesake, The Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration. The CD was recorded live at The Redmoor, and showcases the work of Wade on Trumpet, Ben Walkenhauer on Tenor, Brandon Meeks on Bass, Andrew Tooms on Piano, and Anthony “T” Lee on Drums. The CD predominantly consists of Wade’s original compositions. The craft and sequence of the tunes meticulously demonstrate the capabilities of every musician.

Leading off is “I Can Explain”, a lively, upbeat number with a very established rhythm section foundation. Wade and Ben come in with a very tight, “peas & carrots” melody, followed by a punctuated, yet flowing solo pattern by Andrew on piano. Ben’s solo on tenor is an improvisation of sedate and coolness. The tune comes full-circle with Wade and Ben returning to the duo melody.

The fluid and romanticized “Ciao Bella” brings to mind a late-night date in the city. Andrew’s piano back rhythm compliments Wade’s solo; almost arm-in-arm as you would escort your date through the city streets, from dinner to the night club. Andrew enters his solo in a playful manner, similar to sweet-talking your date into having another drink, with a smile and a wink. Wade and Ben bring it home in an intoxicating melody, akin to returning home with your date, taking the evening to “another level”.

Wade’s arrangement of “Body and Soul” almost seems as the continuation of the date, now at home. He opens with a very seductive melody, followed by Ben’s tenor. The sound of the rhythm section is very low and delicate, with smooth snare brushes and light brush cymbal taps. Brandon’s bass solo is alluring, proving that soft and smoothness can also command attention. Ben closes this sensual number with a flow that just melts the heart (and the date).

“Another Day in Clifton” is the longest number on the CD, and worth every second, as Anthony and Brandon carry a suspenseful pattern. Wade and Ben enter with a rhythm containing faint traces of blues. Wade’s solo causes the tune to launch into a driving, motivated tempo. About halfway through, the rhythm section carries the number for a stretch of time with a propelling improvisation from Andrew, combined with the walking pattern of Brandon’s bass. Then Brandon cuts into this intense, rapid-fire solo consisting of high notes, followed by Andrew joining in using a “call and response” dialog with Brandon. This number is a true example of the harnessed synergy of the group.

The 2/4-time of Roy Hargrove’s “Liquid Streets” opens with an organ, with Wade and Ben coming in on melody in a lazy, “morning cup of coffee” tempo. Anthony’s steady and moderate rim hits are visible and key to the transition from “morning cup of coffee” to “taking a shower & starting the day”. The feel of this transition was solidified with Andrew’s entrance on piano, followed by Wade’s “caffeine starting to kick in” solo. Wade’s solo takes an interesting shift near the end, returning the song to that “morning cup of coffee” tempo - as if one drowsily wakes up to make coffee, takes a brisk shower, puts on their clothes, then lays back down. Some days its best to just stay inside and chill.

The CD closes with “Blues for Buselli”, as Anthony provides a snare lead in, followed by Andrew on keys, then Wade and Ben giving an almost “New Orleans old-jazz” feel. The number contains a very upbeat, feel-good, and swinging tempo. The transition of solos between Wade, Ben, Andrew, and Brandon are very well-maintained. Then Anthony rips into a jaw-dropping snare solo that grows in intensity as his cymbals and bass join in the fun.

The Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration CD is an embodiment of diversity, skill, romance, and fun. This is only possible by way of the talent and cultivated chemistry between these musicians, in collaboration; possessing that intangible element known for carrying groups to the next stratosphere.

This CD is highly recommended, and Wade Baker is to be congratulated for his hard work in a successful debut release.
- Aubrey Johnson: Cincinnati Examiner

"Local Musicians to Benefit Haiti"

Greg Harper (Photo by Kurt Strecker)
Greg Harper (Photo by Kurt Strecker)

COVINGTON, Ky. – This coming Saturday, the region's most prolific musicians will come together for an eclectic performance that spans the gamut of musical talent; from Jazz and Blues to R&B. Folk and World Music.

Play it Forward, a non-profit organization that supported artists in need, have had an overwhelming response to their call to musicians to play in the concert.

A handful of Cincinnati area musicians have come together to raise funds for Haitian relief efforts, in a "We Are One--Haiti" event, sponsored by We Are One Benefits.

They will include:

* Ricky Nye (blues & boogie piano),
* The Medicine Men Band (blues),
* Bruce Menefield Ensemble (jazz), Harper (folk),
* Wabi Sabi (jazz/ambient),
* Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration (jazz),
* Thrownback Jack (R&B),
* Chico Futuracho (singer/songwriter),
* Iolite (neo-soul), and
* Keshvar Project (tribal belly dance fusion).

The Leapin Lizard Gallery is donating the venue and the organizers and all musicians are donating their talents and time to the event.

All proceeds will be donated to: The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund http://clintonbushhaitifund.org/ and Hope for Haiti http://www.hopeforhaiti.com/.

Both funds state that 98-100 percent of donations go directly to Haitian relief efforts and Hope for Haiti is is rated Four Star by Charity Navigator.

If you go:

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 20
WHERE: The Leapin Lizard, 726 Main St., Covington, Ky.
TIME: 7 p.m. to midnight
COST: $10 donation recommended, pay what you can at door, cash bar - Kentucky Press

"Wade to Go"

Local Jazz player spreads his wings

There are fine lines between confidence and arrogance, and humility and self-doubt. Wade Baker is nowhere near either line. His confidence is as boundless as his musical talent and yet he takes neither his abilities nor his place in the Cincinnati scene for granted.

During a recent lunch at El Rancho Grande, Wade said of his Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nomination in the Jazz category:
“I would have loved to win so I could have some tangible thing to show Dad and say, ‘Look, I don’t just sit at home all day.’ But to have the panel of people that select the nominees to think enough of me, I was just really geeked about it.”

Although Baker nabbed his first CEA nomination in the Jazz category, he is a pervasive presence in Cincin nati’s music scene. In addition to playing trumpet with a rotating cast of Jazz luminaries in the Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration, Baker has toured with Hip Hop/Jazz/Jam locals Eclipse, provided bass for Blues cat Jon Justice for the past three years and has a regular gig with the veteran Blue Birds Big Band. And that’s just a partial list. It’s an eclectic and challenging schedule, but Baker is more than up for the tasks at hand.

“I try to stay busy,” says Baker with a wry laugh. “It’s how I eat.”

Baker grew up in Jasper, Ind., and, although sports dominated his early years, he turned his musical aptitude and passion into a four-year stint in the University of Indianapolis’ music program. Hearing Lee Morgan’s Leeway album gave Baker his Jazz jones, which was fueled by his professors.

“I originally wanted to be a Classical trumpet player in an orchestra and then I got Leeway and it changed my mind,” Baker says. “When I started showing interest, my teachers were hands-on. They’d take me to their gigs and I’d get to watch the best players in town. And when they wouldn’t go with me, I’d go stand outside the clubs until the doorman felt sorry for me because it was snowing, and they’d be like, ‘Come inside the door, you can watch.’ ” After graduation, Baker moved to Cincinnati in 2006 to earn his Master’s degree at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. Before he was even settled, he began to explore the area’s Jazz scene and discovered the rich heritage of the Greenwich Tavern. Within weeks of his introduction, Baker organized a weekly residency at the club, essentially a regular jam session that attracted players from across the scene’s broad spectrum. The Tuesday jams at the Greenwich lasted over a year before Baker decided to try new things.

“It was awesome and it taught me a lot,” Baker says. “I was lucky and met a lot of great people. Kenny, the bartender at The Greenwich, is one of my favorite people in Cincinnati. And he loves Jazz so it’s fun to geek out with him.”

Baker assembled the Collaboration last year and has worked diligently to raise his profile in the Jazz community while maintaining a consistent schedule with Justice and his numerous other gigs. The Collaboration’s sound is certainly Jazz-based, but incorporates an eclectic array of additional influences that relate to Baker’s musical likes and experiences.

“I think it comes from the different groups I’ve played with,” he says of the dynamic. “When I lived in Indianapolis, I played in a Hip Hop band. I’ve played guitar in Rock bands, so I’ve learned Slash’s solos and Jimmy Page’s solos. I’ve played with Latin bands and I’ve played traditional Jewish music at bar mitzvahs. I’ve played in orchestras, wind ensembles, Reggae Bands; Jazz to me isn’t a specific style as much as it’s a feeling and a concept. You can apply the Jazz language to almost anything. The Blues isn’t necessarily three chords and the truth. The Blues can be whatever you make it. Jazz is the same way. You always have to be pushing forward to find new things. I’ve been experimenting with effects pedals and there’s more of that stuff coming. It’s all about making my mark.”

Baker recorded The Collaboration at Mt. Lookout club The Redmoor back in August and released the performance on a six-song disc that he sells at shows. As pleased as he is with the disc, he has bigger release plans in mind.

“I’d like to get a studio recording done and I think I’m going to start recording in December,” he says of his forthcoming sessions. He says the recordings will feature the instrumental prowess of pianist Steve Schmidt, bassists Nathaniel Andrew and Mike Scharfe, drummer Jeremy Cunningham (former Cincinnatian now working in Chicago) and saxophonist Ben Walkenhauer, plus a friend from Denver: Ayo Awosika (“She’s a phenomenal singer and she’s gorgeous,” Baker says).

Baker is clearly committed to all of his musical endeavors around town, but his primary focus is on his Jazz work within and ultimately beyond The Collaboration. He reiterates his gratitude over his CEA nomination and how fortunate he feels to have been considered. He knows he now has to capitalize on the publicity that was generated by it.

“It’s nice to have on the résumé and then maybe next year people will remember me more,” Baker says. “It’s just nice to help get my name out. Now I’m not just some young punk, I’m Wade the young punk.” - City Beat

"Live Interview w/the Jazz Life"


- the Jazz Life

"Cincy Groove Artist of the Month April 2009"

http://www.cincygroove.com/?q=node/1120 - Cincy Groove Magazine

"Interview w/ Aubrey Johnson of the the JazzHalf.com"

You can listen to the Interview here:


- thejazzhalf.com

"The Jazz Half's Artist of the Month"

Dynamic Trumpeter Wade Baker brings his Jazz Collaboration Quartet to Redmoor (formerly Jaspers) in the heart of Mount Lookout Square. Wade Baker is among the hardest working musicians in Cincinnati - touring a multitude of venues in every far corner of town. Wade's group brings a distinct sound to jazz standards, bebop, funk, soul, and much more. And his addition to the newly revamped jazz performance schedule at Redmoor makes this event a must-see.

Stop down at Redmoor to see The Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration. Show starts at 7:30 and admission is $5.00.

The Jazz Half - Aubrey Johnson

www.thejazzhalf.com - TheJazzHalf.com


Live @ the Gypsy Hut - W.B.J.C. - 2009
Live @ the Redmoor -
W.B.J.C. - 8-27-09
Live @ FB's -
W.B.J.C. - 1-22-10




Wade Baker has always had a love for music and his high energy performaces use no set formula at all. Instead he offers an eclectic and intelligent blend of abilities, styles and enthusiasm uniquely crafted to entertain a multitude of people. "I feel like I've tried to mix a bunch of styles together to produce a new sound." What the 25-year old Baker takes from all of this is a sense of craft and above all, great depth & love for the music. Wade Baker received his Undergraduate Degree (B.S. with a concentration in Jazz Studies) from the University of Indianapolis in 2006 and was immediately accepted on scholarship to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music the following fall and is one course from attaining his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies (M.M. Jazz Studies) from C.C.M. Wade has studied Jazz Improvisation with Harry Miedema, Mark Buselli, Brent Wallarab, Phil DeGreg & Kim Pensyl. His classical trumpet training has been from: Bill Adam, Ed Cord, John Rommel, Karl Sievers, Allen Miller, Lenny Foy, Greg Wing & Brad Weil. Baker's versatility makes him fit comfortably playing with many different types of artists. He has played Bass Guitar at several of the country's leading blues festivals in addition to the many Jazz Festivals he has been a part of playing his trumpet. Baker has also collaborated with R&B/Hip-Hop artist Moe Z M.D. (John Mellancamp) as well as countless singer/songwriter/hip-hop artists that have used him a studio "gun for hire."
He already has a professional's discipline and commitment and places no limit on his ambition. Wade explains it best by saying, "The kind of artist I'd like to evolve into is a person who can do anything on the band stand, someone who is irreplaceable," he says. "My ambition is to do this whole music thing as well as I possibly can and to have people really like my music, but more importantly have people really like me."