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Editors’ Notes

Ginger Baker has been a swaggering presence his entire career, as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith as well as his recordings with Fela Kuti and his jazz albums in the latter part of his career. Here, on Baker's first album in 16 years, he’s joined by Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone), Alec Dankworth (bass), and Abass Dodoo (percussion). Even those who haven’t heard Baker recently will recognize his rangy style punctuated by calamitous breaks, but where he previously seemed to be fighting with band members from behind the kit, here he sounds locked in with Dodoo and the rest of the band, which has toured in the past few years. The quartet is ostensibly a jazz group, exploring classics like “Footprints” and “St. Thomas”—but they also move into the blues on “Cyril Davis” and “Twelve and More Blues,” reconfigure the Nigerian folk tune “Aiko Biaye,” and quote from the gospel standard “Wade in the Water” on the title cut. Dankworth in particular offers up some fine solo work (“Ain Temouchant”), but Ellis keeps this jazz rooted in R&B and blues too. It's surprisingly approachable for fans of Baker and/or jazz in general. Why not?

Customer Reviews

Not loose enough, stiff grove overlay

Ginger Baker, the legendary drummer, famous for his work with Mr. Clapton, and Mr. Bruce in one of the greatest rock Trio’s ever - Cream, shows on this CD that he cannot play jazz repertoire fluently, lacks loose chops, and swings way too stiff.
Add the rattle of the percussionist to his 8th note hi hat, and gone is the 6/8 of Shorter’s “Footprints” …
Another standard - St. Thomas, while the sax player sounds good, and the percussionist knows his 3/2 - 2/3 clave, Mr. Baker doesn’t sway with the groove, rather plays through it, head on like a clumsy freight train.
His meter is precise, timekeeping immaculate, but lacks feelings, smoothness...
With all due respect to his impressive skills as a rock / blues / pop drummer - the man can’t swing !
And it wouldn’t have been a big deal had he not ventured into the jazz repertoire ruled by such giants of the drum kit as Antonio Sanchez, El Negro, Greg Hutchinson, Brian Blade, the list goes on…
Dear Ginger man, I suggest you stick with the 4/4 backbeat, fast tom tom rolls, and stuff you’re really good at…
Leave jazz to us capable of loosening up, swinging, and applying afro-cuban percussion delicacies appropriately !
Kudos to the other band members who sound very nice.
Cheers,
Lale Nenadovic & The Acoustic Force Band

Buy this

Just saw Ginger Baker on tour - incredible performance, wonderful music, mostly from the CD (same group). He said from the stage, "buy the CD, I need the money" so do it! If you like amazing drumming you won't be sorry. He has a rare combination of power, dexterity and musicality

Bakers Back

Fantastic return with afro beat

Biography

Born: August 19, 1939 in Lewisham, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ginger Baker was rock's first superstar drummer and the most influential percussionist of the 1960s. There were other drummers who were well-known to the public before him, including the Beatles' Ringo Starr and, in England at the end of the '50s, the Shadows' Tony Meehan, but they were famous primarily for the groups in which they played and for attributes beyond their musicianship. Baker made his name entirely on his playing, initially as showcased in Cream, but far transcending even that trio's...
Full Bio
Why?, Ginger Baker
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 24, 2014

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