Ginger Baker — Do What You Like
(Chronicles 558 542-2, 1972/1998, 2CD)
by Gary Parra, Published 1999-04-01
You may think this isn’t Exposé material, but let me tell you this is quite surprising music even for today. Ginger Baker has proven he qualifies a progressive drummer / composer playing with the likes of Bill Laswell and company. His solo albums have been very impressive. This double CD shows the first departure from Cream and Blind Faith. This is an all-star rock orchestra from 1970 and compiles most of the Ginger Baker Air Force band. Here we have a great foundation where music of today was built. There is rock (progressive), jazz, blues, and world beat (perhaps the birth of) all put into a stew that comes out still tasting very fresh. You will hear some great variations to classics like “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Toad” and stunning African tunes in full native tongue. And of course, Ginger pounding out the skins with a precision I haven’t heard before — and I’ve had the privilege of seeing his live performances past and present. All soloists have the spontaneity of improvisation with excellent musicianship. Steve Winwood on organ just cranks and what a voice, Denny Lane on guitar, Rick Gretch on bass / violin / flute / voice, Graham Bond on horns... plus, great vocals and African percussions. It creates musical magic we all can all learn from. I must admit the live disc has more intensity and verve. It reminds me of Frank Zappa’s King Kong days with Jean-Luc Ponty. Full of great harmonic lines, massive solos abounding with great drums and percussion. The studio side is a little too pretty, yet with these musicians it works well. Very good live / studio digital reproduction. Very cool stuff... recommend to those who can enjoy great progressive “root” music that influenced today’s music in many ways.
Related artist(s): Ginger Baker
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