Keyboardist Bob Baldwin to Release 2 New Albums “Songs My Father Would Dig” & “It’s Okay To Dream” on June 28th, 2024 | LISTEN!

Double duty: Prolific jazz keyboardist Bob Baldwin to release a pair of albums on June 28

“Songs My Father Would Dig” is a straight-ahead jazz set while “It’s Okay to Dream” is a contemporary jazz collection that includes the new single, “Turn Up The Positive.”

NEW YORK, NY (3 JUNE 2024): Seminal international recording artist Bob Baldwin has upped the ante on his own bountiful pace of releasing one 12-song album per year. On June 28, the keyboardist known for his contemporary urban-jazz sound will release two new albums from his City Sketches Records distributed by BFD/The Orchard, the 36th and 37th records in the musician, producer, composer and arranger’s vast catalogue. “Songs My Father Would Dig” is a straight-ahead jazz project and “It’s Okay To Dream” is a contemporary jazz outing. The releases mark the first time in 24 years that an artist has dropped two new albums on the same day in two different genres of jazz.

Another unique aspect of Baldwin’s extensive repertoire is that he exclusively owns the rights to all but seven of his albums, which makes him one of a select few recording artists who can make that claim. That places Baldwin in the company of Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown, Ray Charles and Bob James, each of whom were proponents of artists owning the rights to their own recordings.

Growing up in Mt. Vernon, New York, Baldwin was exposed to the legends of jazz – Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane and other giants – at an early age by his father, who was a pianist and music teacher. Playing an acoustic Steinway piano that is over one hundred years old, Baldwin gathered a trio (drummer Tony Lewis, acoustic bassist Richie Goods and percussionist Café da Silva) in the recording studio last November to record an album to pay homage to his father, who died in 2008. Recorded all in one day, half of the set list is comprised of tunes composed by Coltrane, Davis, Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder. The other half are Baldwin originals with one exception: “To Wisdom, The Prize” was penned by his late cousin, Larry Willis, a gifted pianist who played in the original Blood, Sweat & Tears band and had extended stints alongside Roy Hargrove, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, and South African legend Hugh Masekela.

“The cool jazz era of the 1960’s was my father’s era and the backdrop to my own music foundation. This is a lifetime project for me due to the fact that the piano sound and recording had to be on point and picking songs that were my father’s favorites. Jazz of the 1960’s was post-bebop and Avant Garde. It had a slight pop feel and was easy for the non-music listener. It was palatable and eventually became the launching pad for contemporary jazz in the 1970’s,” said Baldwin who splits his time between Westchester, New York and Atlanta, Georgia.

Baldwin describes “It’s Okay to Dream” as “a contemporary playlist of thoughts and dreams.” Crafted from a toolbox of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, house music, Latin and South African rhythms and melodies, the album was previewed earlier this year with the invigorating single, “I’m Good (Thanks for Asking).” On June 17, the second single, “Turn Up The Positive,” will begin collecting playlist adds. Baldwin wrote the entire album, revisiting one of his songs from the 1980s, “Get the Love,” and found inspiration from his wife (“That One”) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (“Dreamin’ the Dream”). He provides authentic South African culture on “Malema” and “Cape Town at Night,” which were cowritten by Mozambique artist Jimmy Dludlu and performed by Dludlu’s bandmembers.

“Some of the music for the album was written in a dream. My hope is that the playlist takes you to a quiet place where you can hear your beautiful voice beyond the bustling busyness of your own existence. This music is exactly what you need at the perfect time,” said Baldwin who just completed a concert tour through Johannesburg, South Africa.

There is one intensely emotional and poignant song that ends both new albums. “Til We Meet Again,” presented in instrumental and vocal versions on “Songs My Father Would Dig” and instrumentally on “It’s Okay to Dream,” was written for Baldwin’s late brother, William, who died tragically in a 1991 automobile accident at just 19-years-old.

“It’s a constant reminder, even 33 years later, that you never forget that day, the moment the phone rings and you hear the pain coming across the phone from my sister, who had a visit from a local police officer delivering that horrific news. I had just seen William twelve hours prior at a family event. That day ripped my heart to shreds. I will never forget him and his spirit. This song is a revisitation of a great man. We always ask, ‘what if’…what if he were alive today?” shared Baldwin.

While jazz and R&B have been constants throughout his solo recording career ever since his 1988 debut album, “Long Way to Go,” Baldwin has also recorded Brazilian jazz albums (“The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” and “Brazil Chill”) as well as entire collections devoted to reimagining the music of The Beatles (“Bob Baldwin presents Abbey Road and the Beatles”), Thom Bell (“Betcha By Golly Wow”), Wonder (“MelloWonder: Songs in the Key of Stevie”), and Jackson (“Never Can Say Goodbye”). As a producer and songwriter, Baldwin has shaped Billboard hits and album cuts by Regina Carter, The Four Tops, Grover Washington Jr., Richard Elliot, Paul Brown, Marion Meadows, Ragan Whiteside, Will Downing and Freddie Jackson. Since 2008, Baldwin has hosted and produced a nationally syndicated radio show titled NewUrbanJazz Radio. He’s also the author of “You Better Ask Somebody! Staying On Top Of Your Career in the Friggin’ Music Business” and is working on the second edition that will address the nuances of music streaming.

“Songs My Father Would Dig” contains the following songs:

“Dolphin Dance”
“Star Eyes”
“The Beginning of Your Dreams”
“Blue Soul”
“Tell Me A Bedtime Story”
“South Beach”
“To Wisdom, The Prize”
“Til We Meet Again”
“Til We Meet Again” with vocals

The “It’s Okay To Dream” album contains the following songs:

“Cape Town at Night”
“Turn Up The Positive”
“That One”
“My Will”
“Malema Part 1”
“Malema Part 2”
“Dreamin’ the Dream”
“I’m Good (Thanks for asking)”
“Get the Love”
“It’s Okay to Dream”
“Til We Meet Again”

Catch Baldwin in concert on the following dates (shows will be added, including a 2025 tour of Trinidad and Tobago):

June 14 Juneteenth Festival at Five Points Rocky Mount, NC
June 15 Juneteenth Event Atlanta, GA
June 20 Jazz at The Improv Raleigh, NC
August 9 John E. Lawrence Jazz Series Ypsilanti, MI
August 16 & 17 Jazz Forum Arts Tarrytown, NY
December 5 St. James Lounge Atlanta, GA
December 6 & 7 Chayz Lounge Columbia, SC

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