Baker performing in 2011
|Birth name||Peter Edward Baker|
|Born||19 August 1939|
Lewisham, South London, England
Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the rock band Cream.His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer", while his individual style melds a jazz background with African rhythms. He is credited as a pioneer of drumming in genres like jazz fusion, heavy metal and world music.
Cream were a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of lead vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. The group's third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), is the world's first platinum-selling double album. The band is widely regarded as the world's first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold more than 15 million records worldwide. Their music included songs based on traditional blues such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", and modern blues such as "Born Under a Bad Sign", as well as more current material such as "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Toad".
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".
The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions. Music in Africa is very important when it comes to religion. Songs and music are used in rituals and religious ceremonies, to pass down stories from generation to generation, as well as to sing and dance to.
Baker began playing drums aged 15, and later took lessons from Phil Seamen. In the 1960s, he joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist Jack Bruce. The two clashed often, but would be rhythm section partners again in the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, the latter of which Baker co-founded with Eric Clapton in 1966. Cream achieved worldwide success but lasted only until 1968, in part due to Baker's and Bruce's volatile relationship. After briefly working with Clapton in Blind Faith and leading Ginger Baker's Air Force, Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music.Among Baker's other collaborations are his work with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality, Public Image Ltd, Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and Ginger Baker's Energy.
Philip William Seamen was an English jazz drummer.
Blues Incorporated were an English blues band formed in London in 1961, led by Alexis Korner and including at various times Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts, Terry Cox, Davy Graham, Ginger Baker, Art Wood, Long John Baldry, Ronnie Jones, Danny Thompson, Graham Bond, Cyril Davies, Malcolm Cecil and Dick Heckstall-Smith.
John Symon Asher Bruce was a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter known primarily for his contributions to the British supergroup Cream, which also included the guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and the drummer Ginger Baker. In March 2011 Rolling Stone readers selected him as the eighth greatest bass guitarist of all time. "Most musicians would have a very hard time distinguishing themselves if they wound up in a band with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker," the magazine said at the time, "but Jack Bruce was so gifted on the bass that he did it with ease."
Baker's drumming is regarded for its style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song "Toad", one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Baker is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cream, of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008,and of the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2016.
"Toad" is an instrumental by British rock band Cream and was released on their 1966 debut album, Fresh Cream. Composed by drummer Ginger Baker, the song is a five-minute drum solo, and is notable because it features one of the earliest recorded drum solos in rock history.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.
Modern Drummer is a monthly publication targeting the interests of drummers and percussionists. The magazine features interviews, equipment reviews, and columns offering advice on technique, as well as information for the general public. Modern Drummer is also available on the internet.
Ginger Baker was born in Lewisham, South London. His mother worked in a tobacco shop; his father, Frederick Louvain Formidable Baker, was a bricklayer employed by his own father, who owned a building business,and a Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War; he died in the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign.
Lewisham is an area of south east London, England, 5.9 miles (9.5 km) south of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Lewisham had a population of 60,573 in 2011.
South London is the southern part of London, England. Situated south of the River Thames, it includes the historic districts of Southwark, Lambeth, Bankside and Greenwich.
A bricklayer, also know as a miracle worker, which is related to but different from a mason, is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The terms also refer to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie". A stone mason is one who lays any combination of stones, cinder blocks, and bricks in construction of building walls and other works. The main difference between a bricklayer and a true mason is skill level: bricklaying is a part of masonry and considered to be a "lower" form of masonry, whereas stonemasonry is a specialist occupation involved in the cutting and shaping of stones and stonework.
An athletic child, Baker began playing drums at about 15 years old as an outlet for his restless energy. In the early 1960s he took lessons from Phil Seamen, one of the leading British jazz drummers of the post-war era. He gained early fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation with future Cream bandmate Jack Bruce. The Graham Bond Organisation was an R&B/blues group with strong jazz leanings.
The Graham Bond Organisation were a British jazz/rhythm and blues group of the early 1960s consisting of Graham Bond, Jack Bruce (bass), Ginger Baker (drums), Dick Heckstall-Smith and John McLaughlin (guitar). They recorded several albums and further recordings were issued when the group's members achieved fame in progressive rock and jazz fusion. The spelling of the band's original name varied between releases, often depending on the intended audience. The British English spelled as "Organisation" or "ORGANisation", while in some other countries outside the UK spelled "Organization".
Baker founded the rock band Cream in 1966 with Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton. A fusion of blues, psychedelic rock and hard rock, the band released four albums in a little over two years before breaking up in 1968.
Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.
Baker then joined the short-lived "supergroup" Blind Faith, composed of Eric Clapton, bassist Ric Grech from Family, and Steve Winwood from Traffic on keyboards and vocals. They released only one album, Blind Faith , before breaking up.
In 1970 Baker formed, toured and recorded with fusion rock group Ginger Baker's Air Force.
In November 1971, Baker decided to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. Baker was one of the first rock musicians to realize the potential of African music. He also decided that it would be an interesting experience to travel to Nigeria overland across the Sahara Desert. Baker invited documentary filmmaker Tony Palmer to join him and Ginger Baker in Africa follows his odyssey as he makes his journey and finally arrives in Nigeria to set up his studio. After many frustrating set-backs and technical hitches, Batakota (ARC) studios opened at the end of January 1973, and it would operate successfully through the seventies as a facility for both local and western musicians (Paul McCartney and Wings recorded for Band On The Run at this studio).
Baker sat in for Fela Kutiduring recording sessions in 1971 released by Regal Zonophone as Live! (1971)' Fela also appeared with Ginger Baker on Stratavarious (1972) alongside Bobby Gass, a pseudonym for Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group. Stratavarious was later re-issued as part of the compilation Do What You Like. Baker formed Baker Gurvitz Army with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz in 1974 (encouraged by manager Bill Fehilly). The band recorded three albums, Baker Gurvitz Army (1974), Elysian Encounter (1975) and Hearts on Fire (1976), and the band toured through England and Europe in 1975. The band broke up in 1976, not long after the death in a plane crash of Bill Fehilly.
After the failure of the recording studio in Lagos, Baker spent most of the early 1980s on an olive ranch in a small town in Italy. During this period, he played little music and managed to kick his heroin habit.
In 1980, Baker joined Hawkwind after initially playing as a session musician on the album Levitation. He left in 1981, after a tour. Live material and studio demos from that period feature on a further two Hawkind albums, released later in the 80s. In 1985, producer Bill Laswell talked him into doing some session work on John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. album, called Album .
Baker moved to Los Angeles in the late 80s intending to become an actor. He appeared in the 1990 TV series Nasty Boys as Ginger.
In 1992 Baker played with the hard rock group Masters of Reality with bassist Googe and singer/guitarist Chris Goss on the album Sunrise on the Sufferbus . The album received critical acclaim but sold fewer than 10,000 copies.
Baker lived in Parker, Colorado between 1993 and 1999, in part due to his passion for polo. Baker not only participated in polo events at the Salisbury Equestrian Park, but he also sponsored an ongoing series of jam sessions and concerts at the equestrian centre on weekends.
In 1994, he formed The Ginger Baker Trio with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell. He also joined BBM, a short-lived power trio with the line-up of Baker, Jack Bruce and Irish blues rock guitarist Gary Moore.
On 3 May 2005, Baker reunited with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce for a series of Cream concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden. The London concerts were recorded and released as Royal Albert Hall London May 2–3–5–6 2005 (2005). ... although I was thinking of asking him to move. He's still a bit too close".In a Rolling Stone article written in 2009, Bruce is quoted as saying, "It's a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger. Nowadays, we're happily co-existing in different continents [Bruce, who died in 2014, lived in Britain, while Baker lived in South Africa]
In 2008 a bank clerk, Lindiwe Noko, was charged with defrauding him of almost half a million Rand ($60,000).Baker said he had hired Noko as a personal assistant, paying her £7 per day (about 100 Rand) for performing various errands, and alleged she used this position to uncover his private banking information and make unauthorized withdrawals. Noko claimed that the money was a gift after she and Baker became lovers. Baker replied, "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". Noko pleaded not guilty but was convicted of fraud. In October 2010 she was sentenced to three years of "correctional supervision", a type of community service. Baker called the sentence "a travesty".
His autobiography Hellraiser was published in 2009.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, he toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth, and percussionist Abass Dodoo.
In 2014, Baker signed with Motéma Music to release Why? .
In February 2016, Baker announced he had been diagnosed with "serious heart issues" and cancelled all future gigs until further notice. [ needs update ]Writing on his blog, he said, "Just seen doctor... big shock... no more gigs for this old drummer... everything is off... of all things I never thought it would be my heart..." In late March 2016, it was revealed that Baker was set for pioneering treatment. "There are two options for surgery and, depending on how strong my old lungs are, they may do both." He added, "Cardiologist is brilliant. Yesterday he inserted a tube into the artery at my right wrist and fed it all the way to my heart – quite an experience. He was taking pictures of my heart from inside – amazing technology... He says he's going to get me playing again! Thanks all for your support." The heart operation was done in July 2016, with Baker afterward reported to be recovering.
Ginger Baker in Africa (1971) documents Baker's drive from Algeria to Nigeria (across the Sahara desert by Range Rover), where in Lagos, he sets up a recording studio and jams with Fela Kuti.
In 2012, the documentary film Beware of Mr. Baker of Ginger Baker's life by Jay Bulger had its world premiere at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, where it won the grand jury award for best documentary feature. It received its UK premiere on BBC One on 7 July 2015as part of the channel's Imagine series.
Baker cited Phil Seamen, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones and Baby Dodds as main influences on his style.Although he is generally considered a pupil of Phil Seamen, Baker stated that he is largely self-taught and he only played some exercises with Seamen.
Baker's early performance attracted attention for both his musicality and showmanship. While he became famous during his time with Cream for his wild, unpredictable, and flamboyant performances that were often viewed in a vein similar to that of Keith Moon from the Who, Baker has also frequently employed a much more restrained and straightforward performance style influenced by the British jazz groups he heard during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although he is usually categorized as a "rock drummer," Baker himself prefers to be viewed as a jazz drummer, or as just "a drummer."
Along with Moon, Baker has been credited as one of the early pioneers of double bass drumming in rock.He recollects that in 1966 he began to adopt two bass drums in his setup after he and Moon watched drummer Sam Woodyard at a Duke Ellington concert. According to Baker:
Baker prefers light, thin, fast-rebounding drum sticks (size 7A), usually held using a matched grip. Baker's playing makes use of syncopation and ride cymbal patterns characteristic of bebop and other advanced forms of jazz, as well as the frequent application of African rhythms.He frequently employs differing timbres and colours in his percussive work, using a variety of other percussion instruments in addition to the standard drum kit.
In his early days, he developed what would later become the archetypal rock drum solo, with the best known example being the five-minute-long "Toad" from Cream's debut album Fresh Cream (1966). Baker was one of the first drummers to move his left foot between his left bass drum pedal and hi-hat pedal to create various combinations.Somewhat atypically, Baker mounts all of the tom toms on his drum kit in a vertical fashion, with the shells of the drums perpendicular to the floor - as opposed to the more common practice of angling the rack toms toward the player.
Baker's style influenced many drummers, including John Bonham,Peter Criss, Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland, Ian Paice, Terry Bozzio, Dave Lombardo, Tommy Aldridge, Bill Bruford, Alex Van Halen, Danny Seraphine and Nick Mason.
Modern Drummer magazine has described him as "one of classic rock's first influential drumming superstars of the 1960s" and "one of classic rock's true drum gods".AllMusic has described him as "the most influential percussionist of the 1960s" and stated that "virtually every drummer of every heavy metal band that has followed since that time has sought to emulate some aspect of Baker's playing". Although he is widely considered a pioneer of heavy metal drumming, Baker has expressed his repugnance for the genre.
Drum! magazine listed Baker among the "50 Most Important Drummers of All Time" and has defined him as "one of the most imitated '60s drummers", 's "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time".stating also that "he forever changed the face of rock music". He was voted the third greatest drummer of all time in a Rolling Stone reader poll and has been considered the "drummer who practically invented the rock drum solo". In 2016, he was ranked 3rd on Rolling Stone
According to author and columnist Ken Micallef in his book Classic Rock Drummers: "the pantheon of contemporary drummers from metal, fusion, and rock owe their very existence to Baker's trailblazing work with Cream".
Neil Peart has said: "His playing was revolutionary – extrovert, primal and inventive. He set the bar for what rock drumming could be. [...] Every rock drummer since has been influenced in some way by Ginger – even if they don't know it".
He has been married four times and has fathered three children. Baker and his first wife, Liz Finch, had their first child, Ginette Karen, on 20 December 1960. Baker's second daughter, Leda, was born 20 February 1968. Baker's son, Kofi Streatfield Baker, was born in March 1969 and named after a friend of Baker's, Ghanaian drummer Kofi Ghanaba.In February 2013 Baker said he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from years of heavy smoking, and chronic back pain from degenerative osteoarthritis. In June 2016 it was reported he was recovering from open heart surgery, but had also suffered a bad fall which caused swollen legs and feet.
With Fela Kuti
Baker's current kit is made by Drum Workshop. He used Ludwig drums until the late 1990s. All of his cymbals are made by Zildjian; 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.
Ginger used a drum kit he handmade bending Perspex over a stove.The result was a punchy sound with good tone and a lot of attack.They are featured with the Graham Bond Organisation classic albums,"The Sound of 65" and "There's a bond between us". 1967 onward came Ludwig
Snare tuned high, toms and bass tuned low
In May 1968 Baker purchased a new Ludwig drum kit with 20" × 14" and 22" × 14" bass drums, a 14" × 5" metal Super-Sensitive snare and the same-sized toms for Cream's farewell tour.
1963–present made by Zildjian
James Joseph Chamberlin is an American drummer and record producer. He is best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Following the 2000 breakup of the band, Chamberlin joined Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan in the supergroup Zwan and also formed his own group, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. In 2005, Chamberlin joined Corgan in reforming The Smashing Pumpkins; he eventually left the group in March 2009, though he returned again in 2015 for a summer tour. He performed in the group Skysaw until 2012. He is currently active under the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex name. In addition to his current work as CEO, Chamberlin has joined Chicago jazz saxophonist Frank Catalano for a string of 2013–15 performances in the Chicago area. An EP by Catalano and Chamberlin Love Supreme Collective - EP was released on July 29, 2014.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti, also professionally known as Fela Kuti, or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and human rights activist. At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa's most "challenging and charismatic music performers."
Goodbye is the fourth and final studio album by Cream, with three tracks recorded live, and three recorded in the studio. It was released in Europe by Polydor Records and by Atco Records in the United States, debuting in Billboard on 15 February 1969. It reached number one in the United Kingdom and number two in the US. A single, "Badge", was subsequently released from the album a month later. The album was released after Cream disbanded in November 1968.
"Sunshine of Your Love" is a 1967 song by the British rock band Cream. With elements of hard rock, psychedelia, and pop, it is one of Cream's best known and most popular songs. Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce based it on a distinctive bass riff, he developed after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. Guitarist Eric Clapton and lyricist Pete Brown later contributed to the song. Recording engineer Tom Dowd suggested the rhythm arrangement in which drummer Ginger Baker plays a distinctive tom-tom drum rhythm, although Baker has claimed it was his idea.
Stephen Kendall Gadd is an American drummer, percussionist, and session musician. Gadd is one of the most well-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the industry, recognized by his induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1984. Gadd's performance on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", "Late in the Evening" and Steely Dan's "Aja" are examples of his style. He has worked with popular musicians from many genres including Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Harry Chapin, Eric Clapton, Kate Bush, Joe Cocker, Grover Washington Jr., Chick Corea, Lee Ritenour, Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Al Di Meola and Michel Petrucciani.
"White Room" is a song by British rock band Cream, composed by bassist Jack Bruce with lyrics by poet Pete Brown. They recorded it for the studio half of the 1968 double album Wheels of Fire. In September, a shorter US single edit was released for AM radio stations, although album-oriented FM radio stations played the full album version. The subsequent UK single release in January 1969 used the full-length album version of the track.
Peter Naphtali Lemer is an English jazz musician. He worked with the Pete Lemer Quintet, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Annette Peacock, Harry Beckett, Gilgamesh, Baker Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Harry Beckett's Joy Unlimited, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Mike Oldfield Group, In Cahoots, Miller/Baker/Lemer. He currently works with In Cahoots, Peter Lemer Trio/Quartet, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia, and the Peter Lemer-Billy Thompson Quartet and Duo.
Tony Oladipo Allen is a Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris, France. His career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal, who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti.
Ginger Baker's Air Force is a jazz-rock fusion supergroup led by drummer Ginger Baker.
Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse was a British blues rock studio group formed in 1966. They recorded three songs, which were released on the Elektra Records sampler album What's Shakin' in 1966. A possible fourth song remained unreleased.
Live! is an album recorded in 1971 by Fela Kuti's band Africa 70, with the addition of former Cream drummer Ginger Baker on two songs. It was released in 1971 by EMI in Africa and Europe and by Capitol/EMI in the United States and Canada. It was reissued on CD by Celluloid in 1987 and was reissued on CD in remastered form by Barclay with a bonus track from 1978.
Gun were a late 1960s British rock guitar trio who had a single British Top Ten hit, "Race with the Devil" and recorded two albums before disbanding. The band included brothers Paul Gurvitz and Adrian Gurvitz.
Baker Gurvitz Army were an English rock group. Their self-titled debut album featured a blend of hard rock laced with Ginger Baker's jazz- and Afrobeat-influenced drumming. The lengthy "Mad Jack" was that album's outstanding track, and the album hit the US Billboard 200 chart, and peaked at number 22 in the UK Albums Chart. The two following albums contained similar material, although neither charted in the UK nor the US.
Stratavarious is an album by Ginger Baker, the drummer from Cream, released by Polydor in 1972. Baker had many associations with an eclectic mix of musicians brought together under numerous band titles bearing his surname. Stratavarious is the only album that was released under the name of Ginger Baker without other associated names. The lineup on Stratavarious included Bobby Tench, vocalist and guitarist from The Jeff Beck Group, who plays guitar under the pseudonym Bobby Gass and the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Ransome-Kuti who appeared at concerts with Baker at this time.
Sila and the Afrofunk Experience is an Afrofunk band formed in 2003.
Confusion is a 1975 album by Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti and his Africa 70 band. It was arranged, composed, and produced by Kuti, who recorded the album after choosing to emphasize his African heritage and nationalism in his music. Confusion is a commentary on the confused state of post-colonial Lagos and its lack of infrastructure and proper leadership at the time. Kuti's pidgin English lyrics depict difficult conditions in the city, including a frenetic, multilingual trading market and inextricable traffic jams in Lagos' major intersections.
Why Black Man Dey Suffer is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in 1971 and originally released on the Nigerian African Sounds label after EMI refused to release it.
Fela's London Scene is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in England in 1971 and originally released on the Nigerian EMI label.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ginger Baker .|