Anthony James Baker – Looking Ahead
Some musicians are real globetrotters. Take for example guitarist Anthony James Baker. Born in UK he played first in pubs and clubs in Kent. Later he performed in London with Tears For Fears and Big Country. The next decade saw him in L.A. studying with Norman Brown, Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale and attending the Grove School of Music.
After moving to Denver, Colorado he released his self-titled debut album featuring sax sensation Nelson Rangell (2001). His sophomore album AJBBand Live! was recorded at various Colorado locations in the Summer of 2003. Returned to England Anthony James pleases his fans with the new EP Looking Ahead (2009).
On his new project Anthony James works with producer and sax player Darren Rahn, who produced three of the tunes. "Darren has brought an interesting perspective to the songs," comments Anthony James. "His experience with smooth jazz greats like Dave Koz has really helped power the CD with a fresh and distinctive sound."
What makes this EP so remarkable? Is it the perfect arrangement, the captivating melodies or the convincing performance of the committed musicians? Just listen to She's So Precious and you get the answer. It's all above and the impetus to fill the audience with enthusiasm. Bobby Wells wrote the tune and had a principal part of the recording. Bobby fostered high acclaims with his album Bayside (2005).
Slice n' Dice and What If ... were already recorded live on Anthony James' second album. Now they were re-recorded under studio conditions. Anthony James teamed up with sax player Darren Rahn and bassist Mel Brown to create a superior level of magic. Darren's sound effects are the icing on the cake.
Malaga, a Spanish city in Andalusia, is a synonym for Anthony James' elegant Spanish flavored treat of modern contemporary jazz and guitar music. It's also Darren Rahn's signal that his spectrum is a lot greater than that of a simple sax player. I'm deeply impressed.
The short but precious album is closed with Looking Ahead, the second collaboration on this project with Bobby Wells. Anthony's new CD Looking Ahead will be released this Summer at the Pizza Express Jazz Club gig Soho London on 19th July 2009. If you are living in London or nearby don't miss this great event. This album is worth every note!