Exposé Online banner

Fred Thelonious Baker — Missing Link
(Blueprint BP245CD, 1989/1994, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01

Missing Link Cover art

For those of you wondering who in the world is Fred Baker with the familiar middle name, please allow me to provide background on the educated virtuoso. He’s a Birmingham College of Music graduate, and the man has performed with various artists, from Harry Beckett to John Etheridge and several relevant musicians residing in Canterbury. Being a key member of Phil Miller’s In-Cahoots quintet was where Baker first came to my attention by replacing Hugh Hopper. His bass prowess is phenomenal, along with his guitar playing (also spotlighted on the duet album with Miller, Double Up). Missing Link is a sound document of some of his early solo bass work which brought Baker into prominence in the UK jazz community. The selections run the gamut from the classical (including the opener, Bach’s famous “Toccata in D Minor,” to a Thelonious Monk tribute arrangement of “Blue Monk / 'Round Midnight”. Baker can also strut his stuff like Michael Manring, as indicated on “Bonneville Blues” or in Dixie Dregs style on “Hen Hoedown 'Chickin’ Pickin’ Good.'” Baker shines on aggressive pieces, such as “Popcorn” or “Basically Speakin’ the Groove,” where he sets up a rhythm akin to any modern punkmeister. Or he can get moody with slow transitional effects-laden pieces like “Space Bass” or “The Damage Factor.” Although most of the tracks were recorded in the studio in 1989, the last three pieces come from live recordings at the Nottingham Guitar Festival. Included is a solo extract from the In-Cahoots piece “Loggerheads,” where he shows his chops. Regardless of the man’s pedigree, Baker is a man in need of wider recognition and worth your time to investigate.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1994 releases, 1989 recordings

Related artist(s): Fred Thelonious Baker

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Sanna Kurki-Suonio - Musta – With this release, Northside proves that their string of extraordinary CDs (see last issue’s overview) was no fluke. In addition, Musta proves that Sanna Kurki-Suonio is not just one of the Finnish...  (1999) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues