As we enter into the fall of 2018, pianist/keyboardist Bob Baldwin has craftfully unleashed several projects this year in celebrating his 30th year as an artist, and 10/1/18 will mark his 10th year on the air with his NewUrbanJazz Radio Network, which begun with a humble five stations within the NPR Radio chain. The show continues to grow with over 45 terrestrial stations and a listening base of over 500,000 listeners. The show can be consumed with a NewUrbanJazz app via your smartphone, or you can listen in from your desktop computer at work. Archived weekly shows appear on Soundcloud.
So what way to further celebrate 30 years in the music business and still turn heads? By releasing a personal best 10 projects in a 12-month period. His brand new September 20 release entitled, Bob Baldwin Presents Abbey Road the Beatles featuring House groove singer CeCe Peniston, Smooth saxman Euge Groove, Flutist Ragan Whiteside and Washington DC vocalist Lori Williams.
His creatively arranged arrangements of classic tracks by Lennon, McCartney and the rest of the Abbey Road gang has been on the back burner for several years, but Baldwin had to time it perfectly to record and release the project in 2018.
In 1988, his debut release I’ve got A Long Way To Go on Malaco Jazz announced to the world that he would continue to be a mainstay in the Contemporary/Smooth Jazz format. He now has released over 25 original discs released as a solo artist, having recorded some of them on 5 continents, including the countries of Brazil, the U.K., Dubai, and South Africa. His recent acquisitions of product from Shanachie includes Cool Breeze and The American Spirit, both of which are owned by his label, City Sketches Records, which launched in 1997.
“I anticipate that there was going to be some seismic shifts in the music business, so I anticipated what those changes would be”, says the native Mt. Vernonite. “When iTunes came to the party in the mid 2000’s, the message was to own your material, and that’s what I’ve been striving for since 2000. A lot of my peers didn’t answer the call, and now, most of them are playing catch-up. People are stealing the music, downloading less and streaming more…and most labels aren’t sharing all the revenues…less than 15% of industry revenues trickle down to the artists, while the labels clean up. I’m happy to say that I’m both the artist and the label, which is a huge advantage”. That Nostradamus-like prediction has enabled Baldwin to flood the market with music in 2018 without label interference.
10 JAZZ SOLOISTS ON ONE JAZZ SINGLE: SETTING A PRECEDENCE?
Additionally, Baldwin has been working on a track that has evolved in history measures. His project by The Groove Pact featuring Marion Meadows and himself, entitled “Club Life” features a record ten soloists on one single 4:16 track, with solo appearances by Walter Beasley, Joey Sommerville, Ragan Whiteside, Oli Silk, U-Nam, Nils, Tom Browne and the aforementioned Baldwin and Meadows. The project has some proceeds to benefit the How Big Is Your Dream Foundation, which encourages young students to learn about music through performance seminars, based in the Atlanta, GA market.
Three re-mix projects with some new material are already in the works, beginning with the most popular disc, “Never Can Say Goodbye a Tribute to Michael Jackson (Remixed and Re-Mastered)”. The out-of-print recording which now sells on Amazon starting at an eye-popping $55.00 will now be re-released to ward off all rogue record retailers, released as a normally-priced disc.
A Mount Vernon, New York native who has become a longtime resident of Atlanta, Baldwin debuted in 1988 with “I’ve Got A Long Way to Go” and his 25 albums – eight of which climbed into theBillboard Contemporary Jazz Top 20 – are jazz, R&B and gospel outings. Over the years, he’s worked as a producer, songwriter and performer alongside George Benson, Gerald Albright,Euge Groove, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Pieces of a Dream, Paul Taylor, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Chuck Loeb. Since 2008, he has hosted the nationally syndicated radio program “The NewUrbanJazz Lounge,” which attracts nearly 500,000 listeners weekly. His City Sketches, Inc. is the umbrella entity that houses a production and event planning company, the radio network and NewUrbanJazz Hats. Baldwin is also the author of a book about the music industry, “You Better Ask Somebody / Staying On Top of Your Career in the ‘Friggin’ Music Business.”?
He now has recorded some of them on 5 continents, including the countries of Brazil, the U.K., Dubai, and South Africa. The main takeaway is simple…Bob Baldwin is 30 years into the game, but he’s still setting trends and making moves.