restricted access Foreword

From: David Baker

Indiana University Press colophon
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xiii David and I were both born less than eighteen months apart during America’s Great Depression – David in Indianapolis, and myself less than two hundred miles away on the South Side of Chicago. We both fell in love with music at an early age, and decided to make it our lives. For more than fifty years now I have considered David my brother, and to say that we have a connection is an understatement. In 1960, I invited him to join my big band for a tour of Europe. We were both still in our twenties, and David could really play. But beside being a trombonist, he could also write. Nadia Boulanger, my foremost music teacher, told me that your music can never be any more or less than you are as a human being and that it takes a special kind of person to write good music. Well, David had it, and his tune “Screamin’ Meemies ” was part of our nightly repertoire. The reviews of our tour in the Swiss newspapers noted our impromptu jam sessions during the train rides and never failed to point out our inadequate skiing skills. We have been in close touch ever since and have collaborated on many projects. As my success grew scoring films, arranging, and producing, I tempted David to come and join me in Hollywood. But his dedication toteaching,andtotheprogramhebuiltatIndianaUniversity,wasstronger than the promise of riches and fame. I’m sure there have been many similar temptations over the years – promising more financial rewards, more artistic freedom, more public visibility – but he always chose his teaching and his students as his principal calling. In a society that most commonly rewards glamorous careers with a focus on highly visible Foreword xiv Foreword personalities, the choice to dedicate one’s life to helping others achieve their aspirations is a mark of a truly selfless and kind person. Just recently, I invited him to help me develop a national music curriculum as part of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium. Once again, I have been witnessing David’s selfless dedication to sharing his music and to education. David, never forget – as George Burns used to point out – that when you get “over the hill” that’s when you really start to pick up some speed! Happy eightieth birthday, my brother! I could not be more excited to endorse this wonderful and long overdue tribute to your life and work. I love you, my brother. Quincy Jones November 2010 ...


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Subject Headings

  • Baker, David, 1931-.
  • Composers -- United States -- Biography. -- Composers -- United States -- Biography.
  • Jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography. -- Jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography.
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