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Phil Baker

Phil Baker

For the past twenty years, no Northwest bass player has been in more demand in more capacities than Phil Baker. Phil's mastery of both the acoustic and electric bass as well as his talents as a composer and producer have made him one of the most successful and sought-after musicians on the West Coast. Phil's first high-profile gigs were with Diana Ross whom he performed with for nine years beginning in his early twenties. He counts his performance at "Motown 25" as one of his career highlights (where he performed with legendary artists Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Linda Ronstadt). He also performed with Ms. Ross on "The Tonight Show' and "Diana Ross-Live At Central Park". Phil has also toured and recorded with pop artist Gino Vannelli, and remains in demand for rock, pop, and blues recording sessions. Despite being perhaps the finest electric bass player in the region Phil's first love is playing' the acoustic bass in more traditional jazz settings. While touring with Ms. Ross, Phil still  found time to perform with jazz legends Eddie Harris, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Stitt, Diane Schuur, Ernie Watts and countless others. He remains the "first call" for many traveling artists including recent appearances with Nat Adderley, Scott Hamilton, and Joe Lovano. In the contemporary jazz genre Phil has composed for and helped produce Tom Grant's last 2 CDs. On these CDs Phil co-wrote the #1 hit "Love & Desire" and wrote "Tune It In" which reached #19 and on the charts. Phil has appeared on hundreds of CDs but waited until the Winter of '99 to release his first solo recording, "Yule Be Swingin", a mainstream set of Christmas songs featuring Ron Steen, Tom Grant, and Dave Evans. This effort received 4 1/2 stars in "Jazz-scene" and the Oregonian proclaimed: "He's also an inventive soloist with a beautiful sound full sound. He's such an intelligent player that even "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" becomes a new story in his hands". When not performing in concert, at festivals, or on the local club scene Phil spends his days composing music for national television and radio use. In his home studio Phil employs his skills as a keyboardist, guitarist, and arranger to create a "whole" piece of music himself . Phil also uses his studio skills to help artists who seek him out for bass playing, production, synthesizer work, drum looping, arranging, and mixing. Phil explains: "I love watching a piece of music come together. I find that the clearer your vision is, the better the music turns out." Whether laying down the swinging foundation for a touring jazz great, helping to rock the house at a blues gig, or in the studio, Phil plays the bass the way other musicians want to hear it; with feeling, in the groove, producing a beautiful sound with effortless mastery that always supports and never needs to show off.

    Stories By Phil Baker

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