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Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939, Lewishammarker, South Londonmarker) is an Englishmarker drummer, best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. He is also known for his numerous associations with New World music and the use of African influences and other diverse collaborations such as his work with the rock band Hawkwind.

History

Baker gained fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation, and then for becoming a member of the band Cream with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton from 1966 until they disbanded in 1968. He later joined the group Blind Faith. In 1970 Baker formed, toured, and recorded with fusion rock group Ginger Baker's Air Force. He recorded Stratavarious in 1972, with the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat Fela Ransome-Kuti and the vocalist Bobby Tench from The Jeff Beck Group, an album released under his own name. Baker Gurvitz Army was formed in 1974 and released three albums before its demise in 1976. Since then Baker has released many albums of ethnic fusion and jazz percussion and has recorded and toured with various jazz, classical and rock ensembles.

Drumming style

Baker's drumming attracted attention for its flamboyance, showmanship, and pioneering use of two bass drums instead of the conventional single bass kick drum. As a firmly established jazz drummer, he dislikes being referred to as a rock drummer. While at times performing in a similar way to Keith Moon from The Who, Baker also employs a more restrained style influenced by the British jazz groups he heard during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In his early days as a drummer he performed lengthy drum solos, the best known being the thirteen-minute drum solo "Toad" from Cream's double album Wheels of Fire. He is also noted for using a variety of other percussion instruments and for his application of African rhythms. He would often emphasize the flam, a drum rudiment where both sticks would attack the drums at almost the same time to give a heavy thunderous sound.

Associations

Baker formed and recorded with Ginger Baker's Energy and was involved in collaborations with Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. He was also member of Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster and Public Image. In 1994 he formed The Ginger Baker Trio and joined bassist Googe in Masters of Reality formed by producer, singer and guitarist Chris Goss.

Fela Ransome-Kuti and Bobby Gass

Ginger Baker sat in for Fela Ransome-Kuti's drummer Tony Allen during recording sessions which were published in 1971 by the Regal Zonophone / Pathe Marconi label under the record title Live! and released through the Polydor label in 1972. Fela also appeared with Ginger Baker another Polydor release Stratavarious alongside Bobby Gass, a pseudonym for Bobby Tench from The Jeff Beck Group. Stratavarious was re-issued as a compilation along with the two complete Ginger Baker's Air Force albums entitled Do What You Like in 1998.

With members of Cream

Baker and Bruce played together in the Graham Bond Organisation and Alexis Korner's ecletic Blues Incorporated before they formed Cream with Eric Clapton in 1966. Cream disbanded during 1968, and in 1969 Baker joined Clapton along with Ric Grech and Steve Winwood in forming Blind Faith. Bruce and Clapton also played together near the end of Clapton's tenure with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. In 1994 Baker joined BBM (Bruce-Baker-Moore), a short-lived power trio with the lineup of Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Irish rock blues guitarist Gary Moore.

During May 2005, Baker was reunited with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce for a Cream reunion at the Royal Albert Hallmarker in London. Subsequent reunion performances in New York City were marred by repeated on-stage arguments between Baker and Bruce. The relationship remains tenuous. "It's a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger," Bruce said, in a 2009 Rolling Stone article. "Nowadays, we're happily co-existing in different continents [Bruce lives in Britain, Baker in South Africa]...although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close."

Court case: Noko v Baker

In 2008 a bank clerk, Lindiwe Noko, was charged with defrauding him of almost half a million Rand ($60,000). The bank clerk claims that it was a gift after she and Baker became lovers. Not so, insists Baker, who explained, "I've a scar that only a woman who had a thing with me would know. It's there and she doesn't know it's there."

Current Status

Baker currently lives in Tulbagh, South Africa, having been forced out of homes in England, Nigeria, Italy, and the United States for various offenses, including tax evasion.

Discography

Blind Faith Discography



Cream Discography



  • Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005 Reprise (2005)


Ginger Baker's Air Force Discography



Baker Gurvitz Army Discography

  • Baker Gurvitz Army Janus (1974)
  • Elysian Encounter Atco (1975)
  • Hearts on Fire Atco (1976)
  • Flying In and Out of Stardom Castle (2003)
  • Greatest Hits GB Music (2003)
  • Live in Derby Major league productions (2005)
  • Live Revisited (2005)


Solo Discography

  • Stratavarious Polydor (1972)
  • Eleven Sides of Baker Sire (1977)
  • From Humble Oranges CDG (1983)
  • Horses & Trees Celluloid (1986)
  • No Material live album ITM (1987)
  • Middle Passage Axiom (1990)
  • Unseen Rain Day Eight (1992)
  • Going Back Home Atlantic (1994)
  • Ginger Baker's Energy ITM (1995)
  • Ginger Baker The Album ITM (1995)
  • Falling off the roof Atlantic (1995)
  • Do What You Like Atlantic (1998)
  • Coward of the County Atlantic (1999)
  • African Force ITM (2001)
  • African Force: Palanquin's Pole Synergie (2006)


Other



Ginger Baker's Drum Kit

Baker's current kit is made by Drum Workshop. He used Ludwig drums until the late 1990s. All of his cymbals are made by Zildjianmarker, the 22" rivet ride cymbal and the 14" hi-hats he currently uses are the same ones he used during the last two Cream tours in 1968.

Drums

1960s

  • 20"x 11" Bass (right foot)
  • 22"x 11" Bass (left foot)
  • 12x8" & 13x9" top toms
  • 14x14" & 16x14" floor toms
  • 1940's 6.5" x 14" black finished Leedy Broadway wood Snare
Snare tuned high, toms and bass tuned low

In May 1968 Baker got a new Ludwig drum kit with 20"x14" & 22"x14" bass drums, a 14"x5" metal Super-Sensitive snare and the same-sized toms for Cream's farewell tour.

Currently

  • 10"x 8",12" x 9" ,13" x 10" ,14" x 12", Toms on front rack stands
  • 20"x 14" & 22" x 14" Bass drums
  • 13" Edge Snare drum Snare
  • 14" Leedy Snare (Spare)
  • DW 5000 Accelerator Bass Drum Pedals
  • 4 DW cymbal stands
  • 1 DW 5000 HiHat Stand
  • 1 DW Snare Stand
  • Zildjianmarker Ginger Baker 7a sticks


Cymbals

1963-present made by Zildjianmarker

1960s

  • 17" crash left upper
  • 16" crash left lower
  • 14" hi-hats left
  • 16" crash right front lower
  • 17" ride right front upper
  • 22" rivet crash/ride right back upper
  • 18" crash right back lower
  • 8" "Joke effect" splash right of middle


Currently

  • 16" K Dark Thin Crash
  • 14" A New Beat Hi Hats
  • 8" A Splash
  • 8" A Fast Splash
  • 10" A Splash
  • 8" A Splash
  • 13" Top Hat
  • 22" A Series Medium Ride Rivet Ride
  • 18" China
  • 18" A Medium Crash


Percussion

  • Cow bells front right


References

External links




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