A fine jazz pianist and uniquely talented composer Bruce Baker has been making a stir in recent times. “I want to compose jazz riffs and vocal charts that people can sing and remember” says Bruce.
Born, raised and resides in Los Angeles, Bruce grew up listening to jazz in the 60’s and 70’s while hanging out with his father (drummer Irwin Baker) which significantly influenced Bruce’s current composing styles. “There was no lack of ‘west and east coast jazz’ in our house” says Bruce, “and it’s had a significant effect on my writing.”
Three years ago, Bruce formed his current group; The Bruce Baker Trio - the foundation of the Altered Presence Jazz Band; Bruce's guest performers are often changing, an Altered Presence to suite the needs of the compositions, the venue and the event.
The trio exclusively performs his compositions, featuring bassist Michael Alvidrez and drummer Alex Smith (the grandson of Paul T. Smith). “It is important in our group for us to think along similar lines and to always pay close attention to the intent of the song. This trio has hip balance performing as a team rather than three individuals waiting for their chance to solo. Michael and Alex are very intuitive players adding a great deal to the quality of the songs, helping bring out unexpected beauty in the music.”
When asked about his inspirations as a jazz composer of instrumentals, Bruce mentions Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Paul T. Smith and Monk. For music inspiration when teaming with lyricists to compose vocal songs, he names Michael Franks, Kenny Rankin and Van Morrison . In reality, Bruce Baker’s songs and his playing sound unlike anyone but himself for he has developed his own fresh musical voice.