Welcome to andrew-baum.com. I've been asked to introduce you to both the man and his debut album, "Release". So, everyone, say hi to Andrew. His pictures are all over this website. He's fit as a fiddle and his dashing good looks have put him twice in the "to be considered" column for the next James Bond. (Both times the swimsuit contest disqualified him. He just refuses . . .) He hails from the verdant Hudson Valley and played center for the Big East powerhouse Syracuse Orangemen.

Most of us struggle when asked, "Who's your hero?" Andrew knows exactly who his heroes are. If you listen closely you can hear them whispering through the songs on "Release." Andrew's influences are varied and include some of the most celebrated talents of our time. Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, David Gates, Elton John, Richard Carpenter and more modern writers like Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega, Michael Penn and Freedy Johnston all shape the songs, the album and even the timbre of "Release".

You don't just up and make an album like "Release" one day. The 12 songs on "Release" were written between the winter of 1991 and the fall of 1999 and were recorded over the span of 14 months involving the talents of over 15 musicians ranging from Broadway caliber french horn and oboe players to Andrew Baum's long time friends and collaborators. It is a decade of life distilled and burned onto a silver platter.

"Release" is a cathartic song cycle principally concerned with the pain of living single, the gravity of love, and learning to let broken hearts mend and forgiveness replace animosity. There is a sense that through writing and singing Baum is working towards accepting accountability for a decade's worth of discovering love and drifting apart.

Equally indebted to many of these guiding forces are the producers of Baum's debut, Michael Mazzarella and David Domanich. I spent a few nights in the studio during the recording. Mazzarella and Baum spoke in a short hand. "You know, like that thing on that album, at the beginning of that third song, sort of a warm thing." That was enough. They knew.

Mazzarella, the leader of The Rooks, gets pop music. In his own way, he defines it. Combining pop melodies with 21st century rock he has built a solid following of his own and has guided several other bands through the studio including Frank Bango and the Mockers. He is an East Coast Jon Auer, a one man American Teenage Fanclub.

Domanich is best known for recording Lenny Kravitz's first four albums and working with a wide variety of great pop musicians including Gladys Knight, Madonna, and Thin Lizard Dawn. Mazzarella and Domanich have worked together on several albums.

Written by Mark Lee
New York, NY
The Bernard Privot Questionaire with Andrew Baum. . .

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