Ken Baldock

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Ken Baldock, sometimes credited as the chummier Kenny Baldock and also apt to be mutated into Kenny Blalock or variations thereof, had a background in both piano and bass. His studies continued on the…
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Ken Baldock, sometimes credited as the chummier Kenny Baldock and also apt to be mutated into Kenny Blalock or variations thereof, had a background in both piano and bass. His studies continued on the instruments at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In the early '60s he began showing up on jazz bandstands as a bassist in the company of players such as Peter King and the John Dankworth orchestra, with whom he continued to be associated into the mid-'70s. His chops were stretched to the limit with hyperactive pianist Oscar Peterson at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1972, a hurdle that put him well in sight of opportunities oncoming. These included collaborations with Freddy Randall's all-star caravan, a group with clarinetist Dave Shephard, and more calls from Peterson himself, presumably made between arpeggios.

The aforementioned Swiss fest was a lucky one for Baldock, recording-wise. Summertime in Montreux was a winner involving guitarist Barney Kessel's ensemble vessel. 1973 was the following year, signaling Baldock's own band projects featuring some heavy British players such as Henry Lowther. He also worked in a quartet led by Ronnie Scott, leading to backup stints at that leader's self-named club behind many visiting American jazz performers. Some of his most widely heard bass work comes from studio recordings with English folk-rock legend Donovan. Into the early '80s, Baldock seemed most interested in intimacy, sticking to a small group and often using electric guitarists as sidemen. His composition "Kosen Rufu" garnered him an Arts Council award in 1983. Baldock has been quite active as a teacher.