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David Baker: A Legacy in Music Hardcover – November 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; Har/Com edition (November 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253356571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253356574
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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

"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." —Bloomington Herald-Times

"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

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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ckr on August 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want a book about surviving the evils of discrimination and rising to the top of your profession? This is it. Want a book about dedication to education at the deepest level? This is it. Want a book from which you can learn something about jazz you didn't know, whether you're a pro or an amateur? This is it. An inspiration from the first page to the last.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. Morris Rosman on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Baker is a major influence on today's jazz scene and he has revolutionized the jazz program at IU. A huge "thank you" to Monika Herzig for bringing David's story to life. This is a welcome addition to any jazz lover's book shelf. Very enjoyable and very instructive. Highly recommended.
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By Brian Perez on April 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an inspiring account of Dr. David N. Baker and his commitment to the dissemination of the jazz tradition. He has dedicated his life to jazz and jazz education and is a brilliant composer. Very academically centered but good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A pleasure to read this great account of Mr. Baker's total contributions to the music world. We who lived in Indianapolis knew he was talented and we still appreciate his influence as we listen to jazz and other genres. Should be required reading for those studying music as a true art form.
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