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Cooper, Mike / Duck Baker : Cumino In Mia Cucina (Confront)

Having been acquainted with each other for decades but never finding the opportunity to record, improvising American guitarist Duck Baker and British guitarist Mike Cooper finally found their chance in 2010 while both were in Rome, taking two acoustic nylon Spanish guitars into the studio to record these three extended, intertwining improvisations.
 

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product information:


Label: Confront
Catalog ID: core 19
Squidco Product Code: 30203

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at the Steelworks, in Rome,Italy, in 2010, by Mike Cooper.


Personnel:

Mike Cooper-Spanish guitar

Duck Baker-Spanish guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"For the past 40 years Mike Cooper has been an international musical explorer, performing and recording, solo and in a number of inspired groupings and a variety of genres. Initially a folk-blues guitarist and singer songwriter his work has diversified to include improvised and electronic music, live music for silent films, radio art and sound installations. He is also a music journalist, writing features for magazines, particularly on Pacific music and musicians, a visual artist, film and video maker, collector of Hawaiian shirts and appears on more than 60 records to date."

-Mike Cooper Website (http://www.cooparia.com/welcome/biography/)
9/15/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Duck Baker is one of the most highly regarded fingerstyle guitarists of his generation. He is unique among jazz guitarists in that his repertoire spans the entire history of the music from ragtime through swing to modern masters like Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols to free improvisation. Baker's devotion to American music also encompasses more traditional forms like blues, gospel, and Appalachian music and its Scots-Irish ancestry. This catholicism has been likened to Europeans who perform the classical repertoire from renaissance through to modern music.

Duck was born Richard R. Baker IV in 1949 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He passed his teenage years playing in rock and blues bands before becoming interested in acoustic blues. Local ragtime pianist Buck Evans was a major influence on Baker's evolution. By the time he moved to San Francisco in the early seventies, he was performing the wide range of material heard on his first record for the Kicking Mule label, "There's Something for Everyone in America". In addition to developing his solo style, Baker joined a bluegrass band and immersed himself in the local swing jazz scene, forming a duo with guitarist Thom Keats and performing with such Bay Area luminaries as Burt Bales and Robin Hodes. Baker remains active in this music, leading a trio with guitarist Bob Wilson and fiddler Tony Marcus.

In the late seventies, Baker recorded four more records for Kicking Mule, including two devoted to jazz and the first solo guitar record of Irish and Scottish music. He also began touring as a soloist, traveling throughout North America, Western Europe, and Australia. He eventually moved to Europe where he was based for nine years before returning to San Francisco in 1987. It was also in the late seventies that Baker became associated with the free music scene, performing with musicians like Eugene Chadbourne and John Zorn in New York and Bruce Ackley and Henry Kaiser in San Francisco. His associations in the 90's included the highly regarded Irish fiddler, Kieran Fahy, and the great traditional singer, Molly Andrews. As of 2002 he is involved in several other duos: with trombone master Roswell Rudd, bassist Mark Dresser, and guitarists Jamie Findlay, Woody Mann and Ken Emerson. He also leads a trio which includes violinist Carla Kihlstedt and clarinetist Ben Goldberg.

Baker's solo recordings since 1980 have for the most part focused on his own compositions, which reflect the influence of the great jazz pianist/composers like Monk, Nichols, Randy Weston, etc. His pieces have been recorded by various other guitarists, as well as Irish and American traditionalists and modern jazzmen.His most ambitious record, "Spinning Song", which is devoted to the music of Herbie Nichols, got rave reviews in Jazz Times, Cadence, Coda, and the New York Times, and helped establish Baker as an important voice in the world of fingerstyle jazz guitar. Various critics named "Spinning Song" among the best jazz records of 1997 in Cadence and Coda magazines, and it placed high on the Cadence reader's poll of that year. Acoustic Guitar magazine dubbed it "one of the best guitar records ever recorded - by anybody." "

-Duck Baker Website (https://duckbaker.com/biography/)
9/15/2021

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track listing:


1. Aglio Selvatico 2:41

2. Curcuma 4:06

3. Dragoncello 4:59

4. Peperoncino 5:35

5. Zafferano Saraceno 4:42

6. Fieno Greco 5:17

7. Cannella 3:10

8. Origanum Vulgare 3:40

9. Chiodi Di Garofano 5:58

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Acoustic nylon strung guitar is not something I usually play but a visit by Duck Baker to our home in Rome inspired me to dig out my Brazilian version. I met Duck at Stefan Grossman's house in the late seventies and embarrassed myself by replying to his question about what did I play by answering "you probably wouldn't understand", assuming he only played folk music. He produced from his bag and gave me a copy of a record with him, Henry Kaiser, Eugene Chadbourne, Owen Maercks, Randy Hutton in improvised music trios. I think at that point I had never heard of any of them. I had just returned to the UK from Spain and was looking for a new direction for my music to go in and this, as well as discovering the London Musicians Collective, was what I needed to send me into some new musical space. These improvisations were recorded - on a Zoom H2 - in our kitchen in Rome, hence the title, Cumino in Mia Cucina."-Mike Cooper



"I started touring England in the late '70s when I was making folk/blues/ragtime guitar records for the Kicking Mule label. These tours made me a frequent visitor at the home of Kicking Mule boss Stefan Grossman in Fulham, and I met many other folk/blues musicians there. Mike Cooper was introduced to me as one of these, but he seemed unimpressed when he heard that I played such fare, and told me that what he really WAS interested in was any American guitarists who might be playing free improvised music. Well, says I, pretending not to be amazed, I guess I'm one of these guitarists you're interested in, and there are some more on this record that just came out. So I showed him my copy of Eugene Chadbourne's Guitar Trios LP, which featured Eugene, myself, and Randy Hutton on one side and Eugene with Henry Kaiser and Owen Maercks on the other. I don't think Mike and I dared to play any free music in Stefan's house that night, but we did get other chances over the years, and finally one day when I was visiting Rome in 2010, we sat down and recorded."-Duck Baker



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Guitarists, &c.
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


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