Recorded on my 30th birthday, this is my first live album and my first album mainly consisting of “cover tunes” (calling them “standards” would in most cases be a stretch, alas). On it I celebrate some important people, including mentors (Kenny Barron and Ted Dunbar), influences (Phineas Newborn, who inspired the arrangement of “Sweet and Lovely,” and Wayne Shorter) and my lovely and talented wife (who contributed the title track). The session was complicated by a flood in the intended performance/recording space, a huge winter storm and some equipment malfunctions. As such the album came out differently than anticipated, but as it turns out I’m perfectly happy with “What It Is.”

Noah Baerman | piano
Henry Lugo | bass
George Mastrogiannis | drums

Recorded December 14, 2003 at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

“I’m pleased to report that the final product is as exciting to listen to as the recording session was fun to watch…. What It Is is a pleasing document of what Noah Baerman has absorbed and created in his musical career. It’s fun to hear the interplay of the trio, exciting to hear Baerman playing so well and good to know he’s documenting his music.”

– Hartford Courant


1) Wade In the Water

2) What It Is
(Kate Ten Eyck)

3) You Don’t Know What Love Is

4) 518
(Kenny Barron)

5) Nefertiti
(Wayne Shorter)

6) Sweet and Lovely
(Arnheim/Tobias/ Lemare)

7) The Theme

8) A Nice, Clean Machine for Pedro
(Ted Dunbar)