Michael Baker

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Time may be infinite, but the list of sidemen associated with the Time is not, even if it appears otherwise once membership in various spin-off combos is factored in. The undersung guitarist Michael Baker…
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Time may be infinite, but the list of sidemen associated with the Time is not, even if it appears otherwise once membership in various spin-off combos is factored in. The undersung guitarist Michael Baker was a member of one such outfit, a band led by fellow axeman Jesse Johnson, an Illinois funk and soul player who may not have been the leader of the Time but at one time played an important enough role to be considered something of a secondhand.

Baker appeared on two of Johnson's solo efforts, plus related reissue material. Johnson came up as the lead guitarist and main songwriter for the Time after relocating to Minneapolis in the late '70s. "Jungle Love" was Johnson's best-known effort for this group, leading to a solo deal with A&M in 1984. Within the year Baker had joined up, staying with the new group through the release of Jesse Johnson's Revue and the accurately titled Shockadelica. Baker was gone for the third Johnson effort, however, and also did not re-up with the group when it re-formed in 1990. Other players in Johnson's group included drummer Bobby Vandell, guitarist and keyboardist Sonny Thompson, and the fine bassist Gerry Hubbard. A slightly burned-out Sly Stone appeared in a cameo on one of the Johnson productions. Baker should not be confused with other players of the same name, including a Nashville session guitarist and the jazz drummer who became Whitney Houston's music director.