Tuesday, April 03, 2007

April 1, 2007 Leaving Many Footprints

Stanley Baird resides in Durham, NC and maintains a big band that performs throughout the United States. Stanley plays tenor and alto sax and recently produced a new CD, Traffic Jam. He has played with such performers as Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, Kirk Whalum, Patti LaBelle, Najee, Richard Elliot and Donald Byrd.

Longtime collaborator and co-producer of the Traffic Jam CD, Marvin Mumford, joined Stanley for the evening on my radio show, Melva's Musings on Jazz, featuring North Carolina jazz musicians and their music.

Stanley hails from the mountains of North Carolina in the Asheville area - not far from the birth places of Roberta Flack (Black Mountain) and Nina Simone (Tryon). Stanley assembled his first band at the age of 14. He credits many big footsteps that went before him that made his way possible - Lou Donaldson, Gene Ammons, Stanley Turrentine, and later in his life, Wayne Shorter and John Coltrane.

Stanley co-founded, along with Donald Byrd, the Jazz Studies program at NC Central University in Durham, NC. He has inspired many young musicians along the way making sure he left lots of footprints behind him for others to follow and help them along their way. Each summer he hosts youth from all over the country to come to the NCCU campus to intensely study jazz - with support from the Stanley Baird Youth Jazz Foundation.

Friends and band members called during the show from around the country to send their greetings. Jay Mumford, drummer, checked in and jazz piano player, and co-producer of the Traffic Jam CD, Kenneth Leonard called from the road. Lenard Rutledge, a wonderful singer, called from Miami, Florida. Walter Johnson called from Dallas, Texas. Stanley and Marvin are clearly both loved by many.

From the Traffic Jam CD, I played: Footprints, Golden, Caribbean Queen, I Want 2 Love U (vocals by Yolanda Rabun); Flaming Hot; Enjoy the Ride; and No Greater Love. From Stanley's You Will Know CD, I played So in Love with You (with vocals, oh so sweet, by Lenard Rutledge) and finally My Favorite Things. Stanley and Marvin put together what I consider to be one of the most beautiful versions of My Favorite Things.

It was a joy to have Stanley Baird and Marvin Mumford on my show. I look forward to staying in touch with them and following their wonderful and inspiring music.

My show is on every Sunday night from 7:00 - 9:00 EST and features NC jazz music and musicians who hail from the different parts of NC. You can call in to my show by dialing 919 929-9601 and listen in the local area to the 100 Watts of Wonder Community-Powered WCOM radio station by tuning in to 103.5 FM. Or you can listen in from anywhere in the world by going to the WCOM website and clicking on the button in the upper right-hand corner for webstreaming.

Please join me Sunday evening!


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