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Album Review: Here With You
Bob "Chaz" Baker
Cover image of the album Here With You by Bob
Here With You
Bob "Chaz" Baker
2018 / Bob "Chaz" Baker
36 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
It’s been a few years since Colorado pianist/composer Bob “Chaz” Baker released Into His Rest: Grace and Glory VIII, and I’m happy to say that Here With You was worth the wait! This time, the album contains ten original piano solos, one of which is a medley of “Amazing Grace” and an original composition. The pieces cover a variety of music genres, reflective of Baker’s varied music career. He started out playing trombone and was voted the top trombone soloist at the Wichita Jazz Festival in 1971. After a short tour with Jerry Lee Lewis, Baker was convinced that he should switch his focus to piano, synths and keyboards. He continued to tour and record with an impressive list of artists and recently performed with legendary pianists Liz Story and Lisa Downing at the Cherokee Ranch and Castle in Colorado. Baker’s music is also influenced by his Filipino/Irish background as well as his experience in classical, jazz, rock and gospel music, creating a unique and distinct musical voice.

Here With You begins with the title track, a tender but passionate love-song-without-words that should set many hearts aflutter - a wonderful start! “Through My Window” starts out as a warm and dreamy expression of peaceful contentment. As it develops, the piece gradually increases intensity, becoming a prayer of thanks and gratitude (my interpretation!) and then softening to a reflective close. “Just Once” feels more introspective - possibly a musical soliloquy of sorts - and comes from the heart. “The Traveler” goes in a much different direction with a light-hearted joyousness and feelings of excitement for a new adventure. Lively and effervescent, this one will make your feet itch to get up and do a little dance! “Waltz For Deborah” is a sweet, graceful slow dance that just makes you feel good. “Devotion/ Amazing Grace” is the medley I mentioned above. I love the way it seamlessly transitions from the more classical “Devotion” to the bolder gospel arrangement of “Amazing Grace” and back again. “Wings” expresses effortless but powerful movement - sometimes soaring and sometimes gliding. “You Are Loved” takes a somewhat more pop turn - sweet and uncluttered. “Infinity Turn” has one theme that is a lilting waltz that alternates with a second more flowing theme - both are very beautiful! “First Love” brings the album to a close with an upbeat expression of the glorious feelings of finding a “special someone” for the first time.

Here With You is a very enjoyable listening experience from the first note to the last! It is available from www.BobChazBaker.com, Amazon and CD Baby.
December 30, 2018
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