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Album Review: The Romance Language of Music
Bob "Chaz" Baker
Cover image of the album The Romance Language of Music by Bob
The Romance Language of Music
Bob "Chaz" Baker
2013 / Bob Baker
24 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Romance Language of Music is a five-song solo piano EP by Bob Baker, a former jazz trombone player who switched to piano and keyboards after a short tour with Jerry Lee Lewis and hearing the statement that “horn players will come and go but they will always need piano players to Rock ‘n Roll.” Nicknamed Chaz, he performed and toured with a wide variety of musicians before launching his solo career. The Romance Language of Music draws on this broad range of musical experience and incorporates Baker’s Filipino/Irish multi-racial background as well as classical, jazz, rock and gospel influences into a musical language that is distinctly Baker’s own. Sometimes tender and lyrical and sometimes upbeat and effervescent, there is a very impressive collection of music on this relatively short album.

The Romance Language of Music begins with “Crisanta’s Dream,” a beautiful love song with a gracefully-flowing left hand and a sweetly lyrical right - sure to evoke a contented sigh! “Rapture in the Quiet” is blissful tranquility set to music. Passionate and intense in some passages, this is a good kind of intensity that doesn’t disturb the peaceful vibe of the piano. “The Romance, The Storm, The Resolve” is the longest of the five pieces at a little over six minutes. It begins with a quiet, melodic delicacy that gently builds to a little past the mid-point of the piece (the romance), becomes much more dramatic with powerful chords (the storm), and again becomes peaceful (the resolve). It’s a beautiful concept piece! “Gethsemane” tells its poignant story without words, relying on emotionally expressive playing to tell the tale in a heartfelt way that words never can. “Joy” goes into an entirely different direction and literally dances for joy with breathless excitement and enthusiasm.

As I was writing this review, I kept thinking, “This is my favorite” with each track. The pieces are all outstanding and you can download the entire album for under $10. It is available from www.bobchazbaker.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
January 9, 2016