Monday, October 06, 2008

Mickey Baker

Over on the Jazz Guitar Forum a poster writes:

"It was probably close to 40 years ago that I got my first introduction to jazz guitar courtesy of Mickey Baker's jazz guitar method book. The book was first published in 1955 and is currently still in print (just like me, LOL). I've always wondered about whatever happened to the guy since then. Well I found out today. I was thumbing through the latest copy of Fretboard Journal in a bookstore and read a piece that they did on him. Turns out he has been living in France since the early sixties. They've got a current picture of him holding a nasty looking gun. Looks more like a Mafia hit man than a jazz guitarist, LOL. Interesting family history too. Apparently his grandmother ran a bordello and put her 12-year old daughter to work in the family business. Mickey was the product of one of those business transactions with a Caucasian guy. The rest, as they say, is history. An interesting comment from Mickey was that he wrote the method book before he really knew what he was doing."
Yeah, me too. Mickey Baker's jazz guitar books ("Complete Course in Jazz Guitar" ) were my introduction to the art as well. I've kept my original copies, and I find them as difficult and inscrutable today as I did then.