David Baker, a Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer, died in his sleep on July 14. He was 58. In a 40-year career, Baker worked with artists that include Al DiMeola, Art Farmer, Maceo Parker
David Baker, a Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer, died in his sleep on July 14. He was 58.
In a 40-year career, Baker worked with artists that include Al DiMeola, Art Farmer, Maceo Parker, John Scofield, John Zorn, Sun Ra and Medeski, Martin & Wood.
Baker was born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., into a musical family. His grandfather was a salesman for Columbia Records in the '20s. His father, Harry, founded Baker Audio in Atlanta, where David assisted him in sound-systems installation. Eventually, Baker Audio housed a radio station. Baker began to make recordings there, and soon began to coordinate sound for the Atlanta Arts Festival.
Baker went to the Mississippi Delta in the mid-'60s to do field recording work, which was later chronicled on "Movement Soul," available from the Library of Congress. In 1967, he joined NEw York's Apostolic Studios, then home to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
From 1973-75, Baker was chief engineer for Vanguard Records, after which he worked as a freelance engineer. In 1986, he began remastering the entire Vanguard Classics catalog for CD release. Most recently, he performed archival work for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
Baker recorded for ECM, Enja, Blue Note, Atlantic, Sony, Verve, Black Saint/Soul Note, MaxJazz and other labels. He won a Grammy Award in 1998 for recording Shirley Horn's Verve album "I Remember Miles."
Baker is survived by his wife, Kyoko.