b. 26 June 1955, Richmond, Virginia, USA. Baron began playing drums in a school band at the age of nine and five years later was playing gigs as a jazz drummer. After studying at Berklee College Of Music he worked in Los Angeles and New York, accompanying singers such as Carmen McRae and Mark Murphy and instrumentalist leaders of varied styles including Red Rodney, Fred Hersch, Toots Thielemans, John Zorn and Bill Frisell. He was also prominent in the exploratory jazz scene of the late 80s, playing with Tim Berne and Hank Roberts in Miniature and Zorn, Frisell, Fred Frith and Wayne Horvitz in Naked City. In the 90s, Baron’s on record companions included Frisell, alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe and bass player Ron Carter. He appeared at the 1997 JVC Jazz Festival in New York on a bill with fellow drummers Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes. His band, Barondown, in which he is joined by Steve Swell and Ellery Eskelin, is unusual, perhaps unique, in its instrumentation: trombone, tenor saxophone and drums.
Baron’s intellectually stimulating avant garde music, much of which he composes, is often demanding and aggressive but he can also be lyrical and cogently earthbound thanks to his marked feeling for the blues influences of the distant past.