The American musician, composer, producer, educator, blogger, author, activist and all-around awesome human, Noah Baerman, made a brief appearance on this blog once before when I bought one of his recommendations on one of those days when Bandcamp was waiving fees, forwarding 100% of payments to the artists. That recommendation and purchase inspired the post on Jess Best’s “if i grew up.”
Today has been National Album Day in the United Kingdom, a day dedicated to listening to full albums, having listening parties, or going out and buying albums. And, while we weren’t listening to a UK artist, my sweety and I honoured the spirit of the day by attending an album release party with nearly 100 others hosted on Zoom by Baerman, who lives in Connecticut, USA.
Yesterday he released the 17-track album, Love Right, a tribute to his friend and fellow musician, Claire Randall, who at age 27 was stolen from those she loved and who loved her.
The chances that my sweety and I ever would have met Baerman were very slim as we live so far away from each other and had little in common, except for the love of music and mutual friends whose love brought us all together when that family was hit with tragedy, some years ago. Noah and his partner, and Sweety and I, don’t know each other well, yet we are inextricably linked for life by a community of love that arose and solidified around deepest loss.
As a side note, today is also World Mental Health Day. I believe that if we as a society took better care of each other, and if we all demanded our governments spend more time courageously investing in genuine care for and feeding of citizens instead of pandering to the populist notion of lowering taxes, there would be a lot less tragedy and grief for this world to suffer.
Baerman’s Zoom album launch today was another first for us in this time of life adapting to the global pandemic. He introduced each piece, along with naming the nearly 100 artists who collaborated on the album, and then played an excerpt of each track, screen-sharing a visual collage of the track artists Photoshopped onto rocky terrain. He put a lot of heart and soul into the project and the launching of it. He’s one of those “friends I wish I’d never met” on the one hand, but on the other, I sure would love to hang out with him sometime; he’s a super cool person, as I have grown to know by being connected online. (And I hear he makes some fantastic food… though there wasn’t any at the party today… just sayin’.)
Jazz isn’t one of the genres I know well or even understand, but I learned a lot about Baerman’s process for what he was creating in the compilation of this collection.
I’ve chosen to highlight the album’s opening song, “Love Right (prelude).” Baerman wrote the music and lyrics for the entire album, and I find this track utterly captivating in how he composed it and how the vocalists — Mariana Quinn-Makwaia (lead), Mel Hsu, Jess Best, and Baerman — create the ethereal sound that opens this major work in loving tribute to his dear friend.
All proceeds from sales of the album go to Claire’s Continuum, an initiative to honour Claire’s lifelong commitment to social justice. I encourage you to support that work by purchasing the digital download of the album and accompanying booklet.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
And, at the album launch today, Baerman talked about a band Randall sang with, Trot Fox, and their rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Here’s the video from the Trot Fox YouTube channel: