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Musings In Cb

Bob Baldwin - A440 Musician

By Published: February 28, 2004
On, "Brazil Chill", Baldwin also returns to his 1970's-tinged Neo-Jazz roots and creates an emotive 55 minutes of alluring originals and even an upbeat remake of the Jackson classic, "I Want to Be Where You Are". This time around, Baldwin adds vocalese to his already numerous performance credits. He delivers a Bobby McFerrin-like scat vocal-solo on the track "Oasis of Love", as well as background vocal performances on several of the other numbers. His vocal sound is reminiscent of his signature CD101.9 (New York City) jingle package and is also further explored on his "Don't Get It Twisted" CD.

Known for uniquely bringing together the best performers in contemporary jazz and R&B, Baldwin's latest collaboration also marks a reunion with some old friends like New York vocalist Tonni Smith on "Funkin for Jamaica". He and Smith used to work together in Tom Browne?s band for many years. Baldwin features Smith's vocals on his funky, bass-laced tune, "Can You Feel It". There is also Jeff Kashiwa, whose contemporary saxophone stylings add the desired sweet and succulent sounds to Baldwin's composition, "Sho' Nuff".

Life, Music, and Business Synergy

Often described in the press and media as a chameleon, who was destined to play jazz, Bob Baldwin, Jr. was born in Mount Vernon, NY and reared in Westchester County, NY. The Jr. Baldwin credits his father, Bob Baldwin, Sr. for recognizing and nurturing his gifts at an early age. At age four, the elder Baldwin discovered his son's perfect pitch. Prior to illness, his father was an engineer and accomplished jazz pianist in his own right - Bob Baldwin, Sr. worked with former John Coltrane bassist, Art Davis; long-time Ella Fitzgerald bassist Keter Betts, legendary jazz drummer Max Roach and many others.

Throughout his youth, the Jr. Baldwin continually studied both, classical and jazz repertoires in private music lessons. However, his development of intriguing harmonies was no doubt honed due to his older sister's contemporary music record collection that included a wide range of inspiration from artists like: Oscar Peterson, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago, Tramaine Hawkins, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis.

Baldwin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Geneva College at Beaver Falls, PA, while later working at MCI and Sprint Communications in their Accounting Department. After launching his music career fulltime, Baldwin didn?t let his business acumen go to waste. He further developed City Sketches, Inc. (Inc. 1996) and his first venture "City Sketches I/Welcome To The Games", which sold over 7,000 units on the Internet, an unheard of by an Artist of any genre. Then after developing a greater understanding of how the business of Music is run, he then, independently produced his seventh US CD, "". He used his acumen to raise his own funds, and negotiate and secure a contract to distribute the CD through Virgin/EMI Network. "" has sold an impressive 60,000 units and counting - his highest selling release to date. He acclaims that success to two things, allowing no one to dictate the selection of music on the recording and basically, calling his own shots. The other credit he makes is his development of relationships through radio, where he initially pursued as a career.

Baldwin also exercises his entrepreneurial prowess in the administration and management of his own publishing company, Funky Onion Publishing, Inc. Some of the company's writing, production and performing credits include George Benson, Grover Washington, Jr., Will Downing, Marion Meadows, Deniece Williams, Tom Browne, Norman Conners, Freddie Jackson, and Pieces of a Dream. He also owns two production companies: Chameleon Productions, and City Sketches, Inc. These organizations showcase his production portfolio for other artists, as well as, his body of work. Baldwin's goal is to push the envelope even further in 2004 by putting together a unique live DVD presentation.

Career Highlights

1985 - Baldwin's first recorded sideman sessions were with Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson and Vaneese Thomas in New York City.

1986 - Baldwin formed The Bob Baldwin/Al Orlo Project. The Baldwin/Orlo Project, which showcased original materials and a hot NY-Based rhythm section, performed at the legendary Bottom Line in New York City, leading to the keyboardist's first production with trumpeter Tom Browne ("Funkin' for Jamaica"). Some of the band's sidemen went on to work with the likes of Spyro Gyra, Chick Corea, Average White Band and others.

1988 - Through Browne, Baldwin meets Producer Danny Weiss and debuts his Production and Arranging talents for Browne's "No Long I" album. This led to his Production deal with Malaco records, resulting in the release of his first production effort, "I've Got a Long Way To Go", which featured Saxophonists Nelson Rangell and Fred Vigdor (Average White Band).

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