Friday, December 13, 2013

Marcus Amaker, Quentin Baxter team up for poetry album

Spoken-word poet, meet jazz drummer

Posted by Paul Bowers on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge Poet Marcus Amaker (left) and drummer Quentin Baxter (right) are teaming up to record a new album due out in February. - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTOS
  • Jonathan Boncek file photos
  • Poet Marcus Amaker (left) and drummer Quentin Baxter (right) are teaming up to record a new album due out in February.

You can't swing a microphone cable around Charleston's jazz or spoken-word poetry scenes, respectively, without hitting Quentin Baxter or Marcus Amaker. Now Baxter, who took home a repeat Drummer of the Year trophy this year from the City Paper Music Awards, is teaming up with Amaker to record an album of Amaker's poetry.

It's not the first collaboration between the two artists, but it will be their first time recording together. After Amaker released The Spoken Word, his 10-year retrospective poetry collection, in October, Baxter played in a backing band at Amaker's release show at the Mezz. Next week, Amaker and Baxter will enter a studio at the College of Charleston to begin recording an as-yet-unnamed collection of poems. Amaker says he expects to release the album in February, and he hopes to press it on vinyl.

Amaker says Baxter has been interested in tweaking the recording with effects pedals in addition to his signature drum sound. "I don't know exactly what all he has up his sleeve, but he'll be looping my voice and making it a sort of cool dialogue between my voice and his drums," Amaker says.

Amaker says he plans to record over the course of three to four days, and the material will include poems he's working on right now.

"It's going to be mainly new stuff," he says. "I'm jazzed about letting the new poems play."

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