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Anita Baker Sings For Holiday Skaters

Of the Oakland Press

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You’ll be able to celebrate Christmas this year with Detroit diva Anita Baker — in the comfort of your own home no less.

Baker is part of “The Capitol One Holiday Celebration on Ice,”

a two-hour NBC special featuring Baker and saxophonist Dave Koz performing while fellow Detroiter Todd Eldredge, Nancy Kerrigan, Ekaterina Gordeeva and others skate. It debuts at 4 p.m. Monday (December 25th) and repeats at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the Style Network. The Baker-Koz hookup is no accident; the two collaborate on a version of the “West Side Story” piece “Somewhere” on Koz’s next album, “At the Movies,” which is due out next month. The song is also featured on a special EP Koz released exclusively via Borders.

“He suggested I do ‘Somewhere’,” Baker recalls, “and I really wasn’t sure. I love the song, but I didn’t think it was something I could do. But you be the judge; I think it came out OK. We did it straight-ahead, like a show tune.”

Baker, 49, says that doing the NBC special also gave her a chance to work with Koz in the flesh. “I didn’t get a chance to work with him in the (studio) because the (instrumental) track was already cut,” she explains. “That was one regret I really had, that the tracks were already cut. But they did a beautiful job.”

Baker is currently gathering material for her next album, the follow-up to 2004’s “My Everything” — which was her fi rst album in 10 years. She also released a holiday collection, “My Everything,” in 2005.

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