I now have an opportunity to share with you some wonderful videos of the amazing musician Tom Baker (1952-2001) who lives on.
Below is a picture of our benefactor and generous friend, Enrico Borsetti, who took a video camera to the 2000 Ascona Jazz Festival and recorded treasures — some of which I have already posted, featuring Dan Barrett, Jeff Hamilton, Ray Sherman, Jon-Erik Kellso, Brian Oglivie, John Smith, Eddie Erickson, Joel Forbes, and Rebecca Kilgore.
Another magnificent band, led by pianist / singer Keith Nichols, was called The Blue Rhythm Makers — and here on YouTube you can see two incarnations with different personnel. The one I share today features the immensely talented and much-missed Tom Baker (trumpet, trombone, reeds, vocal, and more I am probably leaving out), my friend-heroes Matthias Seuffert, Martin Wheatley, Frans Sjostrom.
Here you can learn more / see more about Tom, who made the transition at 49.
Here’s Tom’s very touching reading of ANNIE LAURIE, which I think unforgettable, especially thinking of such a brilliant man who is no longer with us:
and a searing I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW:
and a radiant version of Benny Carter’s ONCE UPON A TIME:
Since I believe that “the dead” KNOW, I send tears and reverent admiration to Tom Baker. And let us not forget the living, to whom I send gratitude.
May your happiness increase!
Heard him and the band at the Sacramento Jazz Festival. Such a great sound!
Thanks for remembering Tom Baker. I heard him at the 1997 Chautauqua Jazz Party and it seemed like he had a different horn in every set he played. I recall that he admired the way the other tenor players at the event could start their solos modestly and develop them. Tom said, “not me, I have to jump in with both feet.”