Vocalist Kate Baker Unveils Treasured Duo Album ‘Return to Shore’ With Late Husband and Guitarist Vic Juris due out October 7, 2022.
Celebrated vocalist Kate Baker and her late husband, guitar giant and influential educator Vic Juris, chronicle a moving love story on Return to Shore, their evocative new album due to be released on October 7, 2022. Produced by guitar great Dave Stryker, Return to Shore displays some of Juris’ most innovative guitar work to date while showcasing Baker’s formidable skills as a singing storyteller. Featuring expressive renditions of jazz and pop music selections, as well as a collection of original compositions, Return to Shore is a stunning recorded document of tender connection and supreme musical synergy.
The origin story of Return to Shore began several years prior to Juris’ untimely passing nearly three years ago when the husband and wife duo entered engineer Paul Wickliffe’s recording studio to track six of the ten songs that comprise this heartfelt release in early 2019. “We’d been performing as a duo together for about twenty years, and we knew what it felt like live, when the energy from the audience – the applause, the love – became so much a part of the process – we wanted to get a feel of what it actually sounded like,” Baker indicated. Over the next few years, Baker and Juris “tried out new material in our home studio to see what it would sound like, not thinking we’d use it,” as Baker noted.
In late December 2019, Juris passed away after a relatively brief but valiant battle with neuroendocrine cancer. His untimely death at age 66 gave way to a crater in the music community. For over forty years, Juris’ wide-ranging stylistic breadth and technical fluency made him a first-call sideman, and a true “musicians musician” in every sense of the phrase. While he had several important musical partnerships throughout his career, including a 20-year tenure in saxophonist Dave Liebman’s band, among the most meaningful of his collaborations was the duo he had with Baker.
Baker, a skilled vocalist whose impact on the contemporary music scene, especially as an educator and vocal coach, cannot be overstated, was the perfect foil to Juris’ distinctive playing. They performed together often and their uncommon musical symbiosis left audiences floored. Despite their frequent live appearances, the duo never released an album together. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Baker had never issued a formal recorded debut. When Juris passed, the recordings from earlier that year took on new significance, and with Dave Stryker’s help, Baker wanted to deliver one last document of her late husband’s work to the world. The results are revelatory and cathartic.
“When we were thinking about songs to do, we wanted to do all new tunes – there was no theme,” reflects Baker. “But in reality, the theme was there all along. But neither of us knew what was coming. I think the spiritual world was giving us a message.”
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