Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Jamey Aebersold Remembers David Baker

12.21.31 – 3.26.16

David Baker (photo by Tom Pich/Courtesy of the NEA)
David Baker (photo by Tom Pich/courtesy of the NEA)

David Baker was such an outstanding musician, bandleader and composer that it took me a year or two to get up the courage to ask him for a lesson. But what a lesson it was. It was the beginning of my real jazz education.

I recall him accompanying me on piano while I played “I Remember April” in the living room of his house on Burdsal Parkway in Indianapolis. After we played for a few minutes, he stopped me and said I was playing pure minor instead of Dorian minor in bars five, six, seven and eight. He told me to raise the sixth, and I had no idea what he was talking about. He quickly got me straightened out on that wrong note, and it was no looking back. I didn’t even know what questions to ask, but his ears were so good and his demeanor so friendly that I couldn’t help but learn from him. I was amazed he played piano and bass in addition to trombone, his main instrument at the time. And then he took up cello!

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published