Robert Baird

A longtime resident of Brooklyn, NY, Robert Baird holds degrees in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. He has spent the past three decades creating vital, appealing content both under his own byline and as editor. Eager to share his experience, Robert teaches music, film, and digital design at CUNY Hostos in the South Bronx, NY. His work has appeared in The Tucson Weekly, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Option, No Depression, Magnet, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Stereophile, Qobuz, and many other publications.


  • Reviewed: Kamasi Washington’s Fearless Movement

    As an ambitious creator of new musical worlds, visionary saxophonist Kamasi Washington wants to understand and proclaim the power of love. He wants to come to terms with his mortality. He wants to make people dance. And he certainly wants people to stop hating on jazz. Mixing jazz horns with afrofuturist concepts, spiritual transcendence, and…

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  • Thelonious Monk Brilliant Corners Review

    When a beautiful new Craft Records reissue of Thelonious Monk’s landmark Brilliant Corners album arrived recently, curiosity led me to see how many different pressings of this essential jazz masterpiece existed. Amongst the over 100 versions out since its 1957 release, I noticed a mass of public domain reissue labels had jumped into the fray.…

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  • How Taylor Swift is Leading the Way

    Of all the reasons that Taylor Swift deserves to be Time magazine’s first ever musician Person of the Year, none are bigger than her smashing victories over misogyny and the music business’s malign way of swindling artists and stealing valuable intellectual property. The particulars of her creative predicament are well known. Once a shy, teenaged…

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  • Review: Little Feat / Sailin’ Shoes and Dixie Chicken 2023 Reissues

    Both Sailin’ Shoes and Dixie Chicken, freshly remastered, sound as relevant today as they did 50 years ago.

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  • The Expanding Power of Women in Jazz

    In jazz, as in most other forms of popular music, it’s women who are bringing the new and much needed energies to the cause of keeping the music relevant and important. Three recent releases […]

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  • Norah Jones’s “I Dream of Christmas”—A new Christmas classic?

    At this time of year, I have always been fascinated by the question of what draws musicians from nearly every musical genre to Christmas music. Google “Christmas music” and you’ll see literally thousands of listings, everyone from Cheech & Chong and XTC to Charles Brown and The Flaming Lips. Even The Rolling Stones have a…

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  • The new Beatles Revolver Special Edition remaster. Just wow.

    The Beatles had suddenly disappointed me. Sure, in 1966 I was just a kid, but I’d been a fan of the group since the beginning. I’d spent hours hunched over my little blue and white 45 RPM record player playing the 7-inch singles of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” over…

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  • The extraordinary jazz-plorations of pianist Jean-Michel Pilc

    By any measure, jazz pianist Jean-Michel Pilc is an audiophile. But like many who’ve grown fond of good audio gear, he’s hit a few bumps along the way. “I used to be a big audiophile. I had Linn and Naim gear but a long time ago I got into a divorce,” he says in a…

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  • Is the CD making a comeback?

    Vinyl LP pressing plants are churning out records at such a clip they’re routinely backed up for six months or more. The once discredited LP has now become one of the few revenue centers for the record business outside of streaming. And now the thunderclap! The format predicted by a tenacious few since the invention…

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  • Blue Note Records Classic Vinyl Reissue Series—Is the word “audiophile” back in style?

    Now that LPs are once again the biggest selling form of physical media, industry players large and small are getting into the LP game. Waiting times of nine months or more are now common at LP pressings plants. New artists who are smart about managing their careers routinely produce many limited-edition LPs in various colors.…

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  • Beatles Let It Be Reissue—how good is this album, really?

    The Beatles will never be irrelevant. Ask any question about John, Paul, George, and Ringo and you’ll instantly have six people who wanna know the answer, six who think it’s absurd to even have to ask, and six more who think they have a much better question. It’s a never-ending cyclone that has insinuated itself…

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  • Bob Dylan dead and done? The Bootleg Series Vol. 16, 1980–1985

    The apocalypse was clearly at hand. Bob Dylan was dead and done. He had snapped and self-destructed. As the ‘80s dawned, even those who worshipped the man were having their doubts. The rebel, the doubter, the immensely skeptical, infinitely gifted oracle from Minnesota who predicted that the times they were a changin’ was suddenly, unexpectedly,…

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  • A family affair: great new jazz by Pat Metheny Group’s Lyle Mays and Aubrey Johnson

    To fans of the Pat Metheny Group, he was the quiet, long-haired dude behind racks of keyboards. And while Metheny in his striped shirts and unruly mane was always the frontman, fans often added a crucial “and” to the PMG equation: Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.  Mays was a huge part of the PMG sound.…

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  • The Best of Record Store Day: Bill Evans, Behind the Dikes

    One of the leading music business stories of the 21st century is the continued discovery, sonic restoration, and release of previously unknown recordings—either from the studio or the stage. As the constant advance in digital technology has reclaimed live tapes once thought to be sonically inferior, and refreshed forgotten or leftover studio recordings, record labels,…

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  • Irreconcilable Differences?

    How did music become science? Or an ugly and personal battle royale over what speaker measurements mean? Or a mud-slinging political brawl over whether some gear writers are on the take? These are questions that I’ve pondered many times over during my years as a music editor in the sometimes blood sport universe of high-end…

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