Thursday, August 28, 2014 'Indiana University jazz legend David Baker honored in tribute album,' 'Singers of Songs'

Dr. David N. Baker


Guest post courtesy of IU Communications colleague Brittany Aders:
Indiana University musicians and fans of David Baker have come together to create a CD, titled “Singer of Songs,” in honor of the legendary IU professor’s musical styling and works.

With backgrounds in music studies, cellist Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, pianist Connie Shih and jazz pianist Monika Herzig– under the tutelage of IU legends such as David Baker, the late Janos Starker, George Gaber and Gyorgy Sebok– formed a triple threat in developing this special project. For percussion, Fischer-Dieskau chose to include friend and leading European percussionist Guy Frisch from Luxembourg.

“I think it’s important that we celebrate because it’s how we keep this music alive,” Baker said. “It is such a joy to see people who love jazz coming together so that the music doesn’t become passive.”

Baker created and led the Jazz Studies Department within IU’s Jacobs School of Music since 1966, and has also played and composed more than 2,000 musical works. His beautiful and complicated musical styling combines classical and jazz components and is widely categorized as Third Stream, which is a combination of Western art music and various ethnic music.

The venture started with the special interest of Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, cellist and professor of cello at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany, who studied at IU Bloomington under legendary cellist professor Janos Starker.

During his studies at IU, Manuel grew to love the cello works of David Baker, especially his suite “Singer of Songs.”

“When we were thinking about the program of my new CD, I proposed my Baker-idea to the director of my label, MDG, well known for their courage to present also unknown music on their productions.” Fischer-Dieskau said. “My idea and hope was also to introduce the name and work of David Baker to the European public.”

This dream began to unfold with the participation of Monika Herzig, jazz pianist and senior lecturer for the Arts Administration program at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Listen Magazine

Fall 2014

Delights from the Third Stream

Jens F. Laurson

Bell-tinkling and vibraphone-hints for Miles Davis, cello cantilenas, calypso-moments for Sonny Rollins, an air of spirituals suggesting Paul Robeson, quasi-orchestral harmony for Duke Ellington and bebopping percussion beneath a vocalizing cello; and that's just the opening of "Singers of Songs" David Baker's album of music for cello and, variously, percussion, piano and jazz trio.  Gunther Schuller defined the term "Third Stream" under which Baker's eclectic but essentially romantic compositions fall.  


The Cello Sonata is more on the classical side of this stream, the terrific Trio on the Jazz side.  Written for Janos Starker (and with his input), they are performed by Starker student Fischer-Dieskau Jr.


David Baker: Singers of Songs

MD&G 9031841 (2014)

1. Singers of Songs/Weavers of Dreams for cello & 17 percussion instruments by David Baker
Performer:  Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (Cello), Guy Frisch (Percussion)
Period: Modern
Date of Recording: 02/26/2013
Venue:  Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster
Length: 18 Minutes 23 Secs.

2. Sonata for cello & piano by David Baker
Performer:  Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (Cello), Connie Shih (Piano)
Period: Modern
Date of Recording: 06/15/2013
Venue:  Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster
Length: 19 Minutes 36 Secs.

3. Suite for cello & jazz trio by David Baker
Performer:  Pavel [Double Bass] Klimashevsky (Double Bass), Monica Acoustic Project Herzig (Piano), Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (Cello),
Dieter Schumacher (Drums)
Period: Contemporary
Date of Recording: 05/24/2013
Venue:  Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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