David Baker

David Baker

A Legacy in Music
Monika Herzig, foreword by Quincy Jones
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/16/2011
Format: Hardback 45 b&w illus., 44 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-35657-4
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


2012 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection

A Living Jazz Legend, musician and composer David Baker has made a distinctive mark on the world of music in his nearly 60-year career—as player (chiefly on trombone and cello), composer, and educator. In this richly illustrated volume, Monika Herzig explores Baker’s artistic legacy, from his days as a jazz musician in Indianapolis to his long-term gig as Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Jazz Studies department at Indiana University. Baker’s credits are striking: in the 1960s he was a member of George Russell’s "out there" sextet and orchestra; by the 1980s he was in the jazz educator’s hall of fame. His compositions have been recorded by performers as diverse as Dexter Gordon and Janos Starker, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Composer’s String Quartet and the Czech Philharmonic. Featuring enlightening interviews with Baker and a CD of unreleased recordings and Baker compositions, this book brings a jazz legend into clear view.

Author Bio

Monika Herzig is a recording artist for Owl Studios and a touring jazz pianist. Her music has received awards from DownBeat Magazine, ASCAP, and Billboard. Herzig teaches classes on the music industry and community arts organizations at Indiana University as a member of the Arts Administration faculty.


“Featuring enlightening interviews with Baker and a CD of unreleased recordings and compositions, this richly illustrated book brings the 60-year career of a jazz musician, composer, educator, and legend into clear view.”

“All great musicians share one common thread and that is they were influenced and mentored along their journey by a very special individual. As I look back on my career in music, I will be forever grateful for meeting and working with the great David Baker. He is an inspiration to everyone he teaches and his love for music and the growth of musicianship amongst his students is contagious.”
 — Chris Botti, jazz trumpeter

“One of my musical superheroes, he has contributed significantly to jazz, African American culture, and the world.”
 — Larry Ridley, jazz bassist and educator

“Herzig provides a thoroughly researched account of Baker’s compelling life and his influential pedagogical approach, filled with contributions and heartfelt remembrances from the people who know him best. ”
 — David Borgo, author of Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age

“David Baker is a musical institution and one of the most giving, brilliant, sensitive, funny and energetic forces among us. In the world of American jazz education and pedagogy, there is no higher tower.”
 — Bill Banfield, musician, composer, writer, and educator

“In a society that most commonly rewards glamorous careers with a focus on highly visible personalities, the choice to dedicate one’s life to helping others achieve their aspirations denotes a truly selfless and kind person. ”
 — from the Foreword by Quincy Jones

“What has David Baker not done? As a young trombonist he lit up the Midwest and then New York with brilliant technique and endless ideas. David was already a much admired composer when he was forced to surrender his trombone, but when he started writing full-time he produced some of the most exciting works in late 20th-century American music. Equally influential as an educator, David has trained some outstanding musicians at Indiana University and was immensely influential at the late International Association for Jazz Education. Most importantly, David has long been an ambassador of jazz, advocating for its important place alongside classical musical traditions.”
 — A. B. Spellman, former Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

“The musical legend is nearing his 80th birthday, and this book serves as a testament to his long career. It's a pleasure to have Baker's stories gathered in one place.July 17, 2011”
 — Bloomington Herald-Times

“[A] fascinating and well-documented book. . . The book is rich in detail and stories, personal and musical.”
 — Hoosier Times

“Congratulations to Monika Herzig and the team of experts she assembled to contribute to a thorough look at the musical values and achievements of David Baker . . . [It's] a worthy 80th birthday tribute to a unique musician-educator.”
 — Indianapolis Star

“Each chapter and contributor to the book is effusive in praise of Baker's personal touch. The reader is reminded that Baker is humble, funny, self-effacing, passionate and of great conviction. It may seem a hagiography at times but Herzig's book serves to inspire. ”
 — JazzTimes

“Books about musical artists often do a good job of telling us about the artist's life or about the artist's music; only rarely do they do both well. Monika Herzig's new book David Baker is one such book. ”
 — Bloom

“With the help of several key contributors, Herzig carefully traces Baker's career as a player, composer, educator and artist. It reads like the lives of several wrapped into one amazing person. . . . [T]his book is for anyone who wants to read about a class act, as well as a nice guy who wins in the face of great odds. ”
 — Down Beat

“Overall, this is a fine tribute to the Indianapolis native and Living Jazz Legend, illuminating his 60-year career as performer, composer, and educator. ”
 — Black Grooves

“Unlike many other examples of the [Festschrift] genre, this one has real substance. It is a fine tribute to this extraordinary man and a valuable contribution to the history of jazz for the last half-century. I recommend it highly.”
 — JJA News

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Foreword / Quincy Jones

1. Indiana Avenue and Crispus Attucks High School / Lissa May
2. A Star Is Born / Monika Herzig
3. New Beginnings / Monika Herzig and Nathan Davis
4. Defining Jazz Education / JB Dyas
5. 21st Century Bebop / Monika Herzig and Brent Wallarab
6. The Composer / David Ward-Steinman
7. David Baker and the Smithsonian: A Personal Perspective / John Edward Hasse
8. Social Engagement / Willard Jenkins
9. Coda / Monika Herzig

Bibliography of Written Works by David Baker
Selected List of Books, Articles, and Other Publications about David Baker
About the Contributors
CD Track Listing

Related Titles