First Listen: The Baylor Project makes us "Happy" again

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    (September 29, 2022) Jean and Marcus Baylor, the creative and life partners who lead the jazz band The Baylor Project, wrote an anthem that offered advice and a bit a levity during the bleakest moments of the Covid-19 pandemic. That song, “Sit On Down” found Jean Baylor reminding listeners of all the things they could do while sheltering in their homes. Finding optimism in the years long nightmare caused by Covid would be difficult for anyone, but the Baylor’s role as performing musicians put them in an untenable position.

    (September 29, 2022) Jean and Marcus Baylor, the creative and life partners who lead the jazz band The Baylor Project, wrote an anthem that offered advice and a bit a levity during the bleakest moments of the Covid-19 pandemic. That song, “Sit On Down” found Jean Baylor reminding listeners of all the things they could do while sheltering in their homes. Finding optimism in the years long nightmare caused by Covid would be difficult for anyone, but the Baylor’s role as performing musicians put them in an untenable position.

    Concerts were cancelled and tours postponed, and sources of income dried up overnight. Through it all, the Baylors continued to create and do the things that all artists did to bring live music to the people and make a living. The Baylors released their excellent Grammy nominated album Generations and 2021 and the critical and commercial response allowed them to build momentum in anticipation of the time when the world managed to loosen Covid’s grip enough that something resembling normality could return.

    The Baylor Project’s new album, The Evening: Live at the Apparatus, finds Marcus and Jean Baylor leading a topflight band in a joyous live album that both celebrates the group’s recent successes, as well as the spiritual power that comes with performing music in front of a live audience.

    On Live at the Apparatus, audience response is one of the stars of the show. The recording captures the applause and the laughter as crowd members respond to the banter between the Baylors, all serving as audible evidence of the joy that accompanies the communal act of playing and listening to live music.

    However, the band - led by Jean Baylor’s vocals and Marcus Baylor’s creativity on the drums -stands as the star of this show. Live at the Apparatus finds The Baylor Project performing Songbook and gospel standards and tracks from Generations. The performance of “Happy To Be With You” from Generations is one of this live album’s standout performances.

    “Happy To Be With You” is a soulful and swinging tune that describes the contentment that comes when you find the perfect person. Jean Baylor’s live performance is as close to perfect as it can be. It was Aretha like. That’s that highest praise you can get, and Jean Baylor deserves every bit of it. Check it out here.

    By Howard Dukes

    The Baylor Project – “Happy To Be With You”

     
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