Jonathan Baldwin | An Appreciation

Jonathan Baldwin -- KUNM Friday noontime jazz -- He has MONEY JUNGLE in his hand and is looking out the KUNM official weather window (from the 3rd floor of Onate Hall at University of New Mexico you can see for miles) -- February 8, 2o13 -- photo by Mark Weber

Jonathan Baldwin — KUNM Friday noontime jazz — He has MONEY JUNGLE in his hand and is looking out the KUNM official weather window (from the 3rd floor of Onate Hall at University of New Mexico you can see for miles) — February 8, 2o13 — photo by Mark Weber

Jonathan Baldwin | An Appreciation

He picked Sarah Vaughan’s “Autumn Leaves” as his last selection that ended 15 years as KUNM’s Friday noon jazz host — and if that didn’t get to you, we’ll take up a collection to secure you a heart transplant. I’m still all messed up over his departure. Jonathan is one of the great listeners. And in his quiet way one of the great teachers. One of the great witnesses. Spent his formative years in NYC. At age 19 the night Miles got clubbed by the police outside Birdland — he was there that very night (Tuesday, August 25, 1959). He was at the 5 Spot that same year when Ornette changed the face of jazz. He caught Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band many times (on his show he calls Dizzy “the miraculous one”) including, a double-bill at Carnegie Hall when Monk’s band had Coltrane, 1957 (recordings of this evening recently unearthed in the Library of Congress and now on CD). On Lower Manhattan he was there for the early rumblings of the free jazz movement and loaned his loft out to Roswell Rudd for rehearsals and was friends with Terry Riley of “In C” fame. He was there the night Chooch Schmirnoff blew into town raising hell on the trumpet. Jonathan dreamed his own life, “We are what we think,” as the Buddha sayeth. Somewhere in the 70s he moved west, spent many years in Taos, moving to Albuquerque in the late 70s (when I met him 1992-ish he was still moving back & forth from Taos). Jonathan has always been a painter — landscapes of the wide-open West. He has also always been a musician, participating in some of New Mexico’s tumbling kaleidoscopic free-range avant garde jazz on his cornet. He is, in the best of all possible worlds, what a jazz host always should be: a participant, a witness, a listener. We’ll miss his fellowship on the airwaves. Blessings & gratitude to you Brother Jonathan.

Mark Weber
19sept15

*You can catch his last show (September 18, 2o15) on the KUNM.org archive where it has been saved.

Jonathan Baldwin with the Thunderbird Poetry Orchestra -- October 11, 2oo9 -- Placitas, New Mexico -- photo by Mark Weber who was playing hubcaps in this band sitting next to Jon

Jonathan Baldwin with the Thunderbird Poetry Orchestra — October 11, 2oo9 — Placitas, New Mexico — photo by Mark Weber who was playing hubcaps in this band sitting next to Jon

Two musicians, both disk jockeys at KUNM: Mark LeClaire and Jon Baldwin -- September 14, 1997 Albuquerque -- photo by Mark Weber

Two musicians, both disk jockeys at KUNM: Mark LeClaire and Jon Baldwin — September 14, 1997 Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber

Two musicians: Jonathan Baldwin and Tim Zannes -- September 14, 1997 Albuquerque -- photo by Mark Weber

Two musicians: Jonathan Baldwin and Tim Zannes — September 14, 1997 Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber

Jon as sideman with Stefan Dill's band Love Unfold The Sun -- June 9, 2000 @ Sprockets, Central Avenue (Rt.66), Albuquerque -- Stefan, guitar; Dave Wayne, drums; Jonathan Baldwin, cornet; (Zimbabwe Nkenya, bass) ----------photo by Mark Weber

Jon as sideman with Stefan Dill’s band Love Unfold The Sun — June 9, 2000 @ Sprockets, Central Avenue (Rt.66), Albuquerque — Stefan, guitar; Dave Wayne, drums; Jonathan Baldwin, cornet; (Zimbabwe Nkenya, bass) ———-photo by Mark Weber

Butch Morris rehearsal for Conduction 101 -- April 8, 1998 at Outpost Performance Space (when it was located at 112 Morningside) Albuquerque -- photo by Mark Weber: Butch Morris, conducting; Stefan Dill, guitar; Ken Battat, percussion/vibes; David Parlato, bass; Alicia Ultan, viola; Katie Harlow, cello; Jonathan Baldwin, cornet; Tim Zannes, violin; Courtney Smith, harp; J.A. Deane, trombone/electronics

Butch Morris rehearsal for Conduction 101 — April 8, 1998 at Outpost Performance Space (when it was located at 112 Morningside) Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber: Butch Morris, conducting; Stefan Dill, guitar; Ken Battat, percussion/vibes; David Parlato, bass; Alicia Ultan, viola; Katie Harlow, cello; Jonathan Baldwin, cornet; Tim Zannes, violin; Courtney Smith, harp; J.A. Deane, trombone/electronics

4 Comments

  1. A FEW OTHER THINGS ABOUT JONATHAN

    He also caught Ornette at the 5 Spot in 1961 when Bobby Bradford was the trumpeter. He attended Mannes School of Music, Manhattan, the same years he was following the downtown art scene, working as a studio assistant to Ellsworth Kelly, while also absorbing the work of Larry Poons. He was an early back-to-the earth visionary with Dean Fleming at Libre Artist Commune in southern Colorado, altho, says, he was “one of the first persons to bail,” and moved to Taos. He was a long-time member of J.A.Deane’s ensemble “Out of Context,” in Albuquerque/Santa Fe.

  2. a wonderful tribute to a wonderful person written by a wonderful person

  3. Fortunate to tune in to Friday “All that Jazz” show just as Jonathan announced this was his last show. Sad, yes – but fortunate for opportunity to call and to thank him.
    The playlists, with his background details and his related history, so often brought alive the musicians and the famous clubs of an essentially cool era of jazz.
    Jonathan is cool but his warmth rounded it all out with the influences preceding and innovations following. Yeah….

  4. hey big web
    beautiful piece on Baldwin – I always enjoyed the depth of his show (and yours of course – and thank you for all the times you let me be part of your show).

    “He is, in the best of all possible worlds, what a jazz host always should be: a participant, a witness, a listener.”

    So true is that statement – I was honored to have Jon in Out Of Context for so many years – He is a deep listener and always made very thoughtful contributions to the ensemble through his cornet, and is always a great hang!

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