Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar : Book 1
About the book
(Ashley Publications). A method in how to play jazz and hot guitar.
Mickey Baker Biography
MacHouston "Mickey" Baker (October 15, 1925 – November 27, 2012) was an American guitarist, best known for his work as a studio musician and as part of the recording duo Mickey & Sylvia.
Early lifeBaker was born in Louisville, Kentucky. His mother was black, and his father, whom he never met, was believed to be white.In 1936, at the age of 11, Baker was put into an orphanage. He ran away frequently, and had to be retrieved by the staff from St. Louis, New York City, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Eventually the orphanage quit looking for him, and at the age of 16 he stayed in New York City. He found work as a laborer and then a dishwasher. But after hanging out in the pool halls of 26th Street, he gave up work to become a full-time pool shark. At 19, Baker decided to make a change in his life. He went back to dishwashing, and was determined to become a jazz musician. The trumpet was his first choice for an instrument, but with only $14 saved up, he could not find a pawnshop with anything but guitars for that price.He enrolled at The New York School of Music, but found the learning pace too slow. He dropped out and resolved to teach himself, but gave up shortly afterwards. Six months later he met a street guitarist who inspired him to start playing again. He continued taking private lessons from different teachers over the next few years. His musical style was influenced by saxophonist Charlie Parker.
CareerBy 1949, Baker had his own combo, and a few paying jobs. He decided to move west, but found that audiences there were not receptive to progressive jazz music. Baker was stranded without work in California when he saw a show by blues guitarist Pee Wee Crayton. Baker said of the encounter: "I asked Pee Wee, 'You mean you can make money playing that stuff on guitar?' Here he was driving a big white Eldorado and had a huge bus for his band. So I started bending strings. I was starving to death, and the blues was just a financial thing for me then." He found a few jobs in Richmond, California, and made enough money to return to New York.After returning east, Baker began recording for Savoy, King and Atlantic Records. He did sessions with Doc Pomus, The Drifters, Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Coleman Hawkins, and numerous other artists.Inspired by the success of Les Paul & Mary Ford, he formed the pop duo Mickey & Sylvia (with Sylvia Robinson, one of his guitar students) in the mid-1950s. Together, they had a hit single with "Love Is Strange" in 1956. After the duo split up in the late 1958, Baker recorded with Kitty Noble as Mickey & Kitty. They released three records on Atlantic Records in 1959. In late 1959, Baker released his debut solo album, The Wildest Guitar, on Atlantic. Mickey & Sylvia reunited in 1960 and sporadically worked together on additional tracks until the mid-1960s.Around this time he moved to France, where he worked with Ronnie Bird and Chantal Goya and made a few solo ... Read full biography
|Languages:||| English ||
|Publication date:||Dec. 30, 2004|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||New York, United States|