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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

RIP Mickey Baker.

(Obituary by Jim Simpson)
Yesterday one of the all-time great jazz, blues and rhythm and blues guitar men, Mickey Baker died.
From Louisville, Kentucky, following a tumultuous upbringing at 19 Mickey found himself in New York, determined to make a living as a jazz musician. He formed his own combo, went on the road and found himself stranded in California where he fell under the spell of bluesman Pee Wee Clayton. This altered Mickey’s music direction overnight. He returned to New York with a new guitar style and the trademark Mickey Baker determination.
Mickey Baker became the house guitar man for King Records, Savoy and Atlantic and featured on dozens of hit records, including those with The Drifters, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Little Willie John, Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, Ike & Tina Turner and more.
He penned ‘Love Is Strange’ which was a hit for himself and Sylvia Robinson as Mickey & Sylvia before relocating to France in the mid-60s. In jazz terms he recorded with Coleman Hawkins, Sam The Man Taylor and numerous others.
Rolling Stone magazine listed him at number 53 in the 100 greatest guitarists ever, which is a nonsense. He was much better than that.
In 1999 the Rhythm and Blues Foundation honoured him with a Pioneer Award, placing him alongside Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Ike Turner.
In 1972 he hooked up with Big Bear Records in the UK, playing on many of their shows, recording his ‘Take A Look Inside’ album, and recording on albums with other Big Bear artists including Gene The Mighty Flea Connors and Willie Mabon, also contributing arrangements to recordings by Eddie Guitar Burns and Cousin Joe From New Orleans
He became and remained a close personal friend.
His many guitar tutor books “Complete Course In Jazz Guitar” sell worldwide and have influenced generations of guitarists and have remained in print for over 50 years.
MacHouston Mickey Baker died near Toulouse in France on 27 November aged 87
JIM SIMPSON

Big Bear Music
Po Box 944
Birmingham
B16 8UT, England
Tel: 0121 454 7020
Fax: 0121 454 9996
www.bigbearmusic.com
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