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  • By Bryan Baker, Enilkrad Music
    Nov 20, 2011
    Foreword by Acclaimed Jazz Writer and Critic, Bill Milkowski Principles of Music by Bryan Baker Bryan Baker’s first ‘catalog of ideas’ is a Rosetta Stone providing a glimpse into the brilliant mind of one of the most staggeringly talented musicians I have encountered since Jaco Pastorius. Reading this liberating manifesto on the art of music-making is bound to alter the course of many aspiring players as it alienates the old guard bent on preserving convention. And I’m not talking age here, necessarily. It’s about attitude. While several established musicians on the jazz scene in November, 1959 were dismissing what Ornette Coleman was doing with his revolutionary quartet, elder figures with open and curious minds, like Benny Carter, had a ringside seat at the Five Spot, checking out ‘the new news.’ And so it is with Bryan Baker, who represents a similar cutting edge of thought and brings a sense of unbridled conviction to his music, as Ornette did 50 years ago. I was first hipped to... More > the young maestro five or so years ago. At the time, slide guitarist extraordinaire David Tronzo, an instructor at the Berklee College of Music, told about this dazzling young student of his, a modern day Mozart who could read through and improvise over the most challenging string quartet charts. “Just regarding the mechanics of music, I have never met a faster mind,” says Tronzo in retrospect. “It was like babysitting a Siberian tiger. You just hope that you don’t one day become the food.” Baker would later hook up with Mike Mainieri and Steps Ahead, followed by a succession of gigs with prominent players that showcased his pyrotechnic chops and depth of musicality in an international arena. He has since gone on to develop as a conceptualist/composer in a myriad of genre-bending settings. And now comes “Principles of Music.” Baker is eloquent, and occasionally poetic, in assessing the aspects of harmony, sound, phrasing, melody, space, energy and unity that go into making up a personal voice. His understanding of these devices and of the concept of music with a capital ‘M’ is positively eerie…like an old soul in a young body speaking the truth. Listen to this young Siberian tiger, who is eager to unleash his new-old wisdom on a new generation of musicians waiting to conquer the world. -- Bill Milkowski Bill Milkowski is a contributor to Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. He is also the author of “JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius” and co-author of “Here and Now: The Autobiography of Pat Martino” (both on Backbeat Books)< Less
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Product Details

Second Edition
Enilkrad Music
January 15, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.21 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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