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Ginger Baker Why? (2014)

 Ginger Baker — Why? (May 24, 2014)

                Ginger Baker — Why?
◊   Legendary rock and jazz drummer, best known as a member of seminal rock/blues supergroup Cream.
◊   Ellis je zdrženlivý frontman. Abas Dodoo: vzory a rytmy, které přidávají textury a průtok do osmi stop. Mix: jenom superlativy. Ginger: jeho sóla jsou koordinovány s tím, co dělají Dankworth a Dodoo. Ve velmi reálném smyslu, celá sada zní jako pokus zachytit to, co Rollins a jeho krajané provedli před všemi těmi desítkami let stylově i obsahově. Je to čerpání z hlubokých studní vlivů a vášní, a částečně z velmi zřejmého kamarádství založeného na vzájemném respektu. Jeho hudba však vypráví svůj vlastní příběh.            © Ginger Baker 'I've lost everything many times.' Photograph: David Levene 
Born: August 19, 1939 in Lewisham, London, England
Member of:
♣   Baker Gurvitz Army
♣   Blind Faith
♣   Cream
♣   Ginger Baker's Air Force
♣   Hawkwind
♣   Masters of Reality
Location: London, England
Album release: May 24, 2014
Recording date: February 17, 2014 — February 18, 2014
Record Label: Motema Music
Duration:     52:23
01 Ginger Spice     6:18 
02 Twelve and More Blues     7:25 
03 Cyril Davis     6:44 
04 Footprints     6:55 
05 Ain Temouchant     6:45 
06 St. Thomas     6:04 
07 Aiko Biaye     7:28 
08 Why?     4:44
Written by:
Ron Miles 1
Alfred Ellis 2
Ginger Baker 3, 5, 8
Wayne Shorter 4
Sonny Rollins 6
Traditional 7
♣   Ginger Baker  Arranger, Composer, Drums, Primary Artist, Producer
♣   Lisa Baker  Vocals
♣   Haley Brawner  Project Manager
♣   Alec Dankworth  Bass, Producer
♣   Ina Dittke  Booking, Management
♣   Alfred Ellis  Composer
♣   Pee Wee Ellis  Saxophone
♣   José Tomaz Gomes  Engineer
♣   Jana Herzen  Executive Producer
♣   Ludzai  Vocals
♣   Alexis Maryon  Photography
♣   Rebecca Meek  Graphic Design
♣   Ron Miles  Composer
♣   Chris Kimsey Miloco  Mixing
♣   Abass Nii Dodoo  Percussion, Producer
♣   Sonny Rollins  Composer
♣   Wayne Shorter  Composer
♣   Traditional  Composer
♣   Tim Turan  Mastering
♣   Douglas Ward  Drum Technician
Amazon Editorial Reviews:
◊   Best known as the fiery, game-changing drummer from the 1960's British supergroup Cream (w/ Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce), Ginger Baker is a true music pioneer. Inspired by a love of African rhythms and the drumming of jazz greats Art Blakey, Max Roach and Elvin Jones, Ginger s unique style of drumming created the foundation for an entirely new sound in rock music. Now, on the heels of the 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker , which brought him and his fascinating life to a wider public, Ginger Baker takes the influences that helped shape him and puts them front and center with his powerhouse Jazz Confusion quartet on WHY?, his first new album in 16 years.
By Wesley Britton, BLOGCRITICS.ORG
Published 10:00 pm, Monday, June 30, 2014
◊   Yes, drummer extraordinaire Ginger Baker became a brand name back in the days of Cream, Blind Faith, and Air Force. However, listening to Why?, Baker's first album in 16 years, you'll forget all that. Instead, you're likely to feel you're traveling to a time before fusion jazz when players and their acoustic instruments banded together in small "combos." Back then, such ensembles showcased the likes of Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young.
◊   In this case, Baker's "Jazz Confusion" features Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth, and African percussionist Abass Dodoo. Not surprisingly, Ellis, who has worked with everyone from James Brown to Van Morrison to Senegalese singer Cheikh Lô to Malian legend Ali Farka Touré, is responsible for the lion's share of the melody lines. On Why?, Ellis is a restrained front man, being improvisational without breaking into flights of extended experimental fantasy. Think Paul Desmond instead.
◊   British double-bassist Dankworth brings a wealth of experience as well, having worked with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Mose Allison, Clark Terry, Mel Tormé, Anita O'Day, and his own stint with Van Morrison. While Ghanaian percussionist Dodoo is best known for his "One Drum" workshops and playing with the Royal Obonu Drummers, he is perfectly Sympatico with this cast of all-stars, providing the patterns and rhythms that add textures and flow to the eight tracks on Why?
◊   Then, of course, there's the reclusive Mr. Baker himself, clearly the man in the middle, the man around whom all the other musicians add their parts. Due to superlative mixing, all four players can be heard distinctly through all the compositions. ◊   All have space to be spotlighted and have their solos, but Baker gets more time at center stage. Happily, you can hear the full range of both percussionists as they are spread around the speakers with all drums and cymbals captured in crystal clear brilliance. Fear not-this is not a demonstration of flamboyant showmanship of stick technique and speed that would mainly interest fellow drummers. Baker isn't playing "Toad" anymore. Rather, his solos are coordinated with what Dankworth and Dodoo are either driving or holding down, proving that carefully tuned drum heads are musical instruments and not just a means for time keepers to provide occasional fills.
◊   Baker is the major composer for the album as well, including the humorous title song with its one word lyric. "Aiko Biaye" is a reworking of a song Baker first recorded with his Air Force back in 1970, this time without the Graham Bond vocals. Likewise, "Ain Temouchant" is a Baker composition he first recorded with the Ginger Baker Trio on 1994's Going Back Home. Baker's lovely tribute to British blues pioneer, "Cyril Davies," punctuated by maracas and Latin flavorings, is another updating of an older track, this time from Baker's 1999 Coward of the County. From that same album, trumpeter Ron Miles' "Ginger Spice" becomes the Why? opening track, and I wager it is not likely a tribute to Geri Halliwell, the "Ginger Spice" of the Spice Girls.
◊   The rest of the material also draws from the past. There's one Ellis composition, "12 and More Blues," which came from a 1993 album of that title, back when Ellis was doing his funk thing. Going back further in time, the group does Wayne Shorter's 1966 "Footprints." You can't get much more bebop authentic than "St. Thomas," a swinging take of the 1956 Sonny Rollins classic. In a very real sense, the entire set sounds like an attempt to capture what Rollins and his compatriots accomplished all those decades ago in both style and substance.
◊   Co-produced by Baker, Dankworth, and Dodoo, Why? sounds like a group comfortable in the studio partly because they honed their song list on the road, partly because each is drawing from deep wells of influences and passions, and partly from a very obvious camaraderie based on mutual respect. I suspect the only thing better than an evening with Why? would be an evening with this quartet live. Even better news would be more releases are in the pipeline. At the risk of being branded a heretic, I'd rather hear more Jazz Confusion than another Cream reunion. Fortaken: http://www.seattlepi.com/
◊   Reaching 75 is a milestone for any working musician but in the case of Ginger Baker it is truly worth celebrating.
◊   To mark this 2014 event, Ginger Baker and his family, have joined forces with PledgeMusic to create and release a career spanning Anthology “A DRUMMER’S TALE” on CD and Vinyl, starting with the track “Wade in the Water” from the Graham Bond Organisation back in the early 60’s, to the 2005 Cream reunion live version of “Toad”. ◊   There will also be a very personal limited edition Family Album Picture Book.
In addition we have put together a 75th Birthday celebration concert and exhibition at the Islington Academy London N1 on Saturday May 3rd 2014.
◊   By teaming up with PledgeMusic, the Baker family is able to offer, direct to the fans, a first listen and look at this collection of tracks, chosen by Ginger, from all the different stages of his long and extraordinary career.
◊   In addition Ginger and Nettie have compiled a very personal Family Album Picture Book of art, artwork, photo’s and other images many of them never seen before.
◊   As you can see from the list on the right, in addition to the album and the book Ginger is not only offering signed copies of “A DRUMMER’S TALE” and the Picture Book, but also signed copies of some of the classic Cream albums, signed copies of Ginger’s Autobiography “Hellraiser” and also signed copies of the award winning DVD documentary “Beware of Mr Baker”.
◊   There will also be a very special “A Drummer’s tale” Gig in the heart of London to celebrate Mr Baker’s 75th year to which Pledgers can get special VIP tickets. These VIP tickets will include a copy of the CD, Picture Book and Autobiography as well as an invitation to a special pre-show picture exhibition.
◊   And as if all that were not enough, there wil be a very special opportunity for all you drummers, we will shortly be announcing drum clinics for fans who want to learn from the master.
◊   This is how it works, you Pledge or promise to buy one of the items shown on the right and your order will go towards reaching the target shown at the top of the page, when this target reaches 100% we will have enough orders to press the button and manufacture and ship all the items.
Message from Ginger Baker
◊   “’Stand by your beds everyone! its been over thirty years since the RSO launched my last ‘The Best of Ginger Baker’ anthology album WITHOUT consulting me about the content! This time I’m in charge, with no label and with the help and support of Pledge Music I am ready to release “A Drummer’s Tale” and the events that inspired these personally chosen tracks from my long career. There will also be a book full of very rare family owned photos and memorabilia. With PledgeMusic the plan is to give you, the fans, something very exclusive.
◊   I know you’ll enjoy it, Thanks for your support throughout the years & remember ’don’t cheer, throw money’! " Ginger Baker
Message from Nettie Baker
◊   It is with great pleasure that we can finally offer up this definitive collection of tracks chosen by Mr B and encompassing all the highlights of his long, iconic and illustrious career. With the help of Pledgemusic we are now able to offer all our fans the chance to participate in what is certain to be not only a landmark lifetime anthology of music, but with several exciting spin offs, such as a new book and much more to come, also a fitting accompaniment to Ginger Baker’s 75th Birthday this year!
◊   I know this is something you’ve all been waiting for, so please let’s show our love for my very talented Dad by getting this campaign on the map! Nettie Baker
Review by Thom JurekScore: ***½
◊   Though he may be physically frail due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and osteoporosis, Ginger Baker in his mid-seventies is still a drummer to be reckoned with.
◊   Why?, his debut offering for Motema Records — and his first studio outing in 16 years — features him in the company of his touring quartet of bassist Alec Dankworth, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, and percussionist Abas Dodoo. The program is pure jazz. ◊   Two tunes here — the modal “Ginger Spice” by Ron Miles, and his own blues “Cyril Davies” — are revisioned workouts from his Coward of the County album, while his Algerian-tinged “Ain Temouchant” dates from his trio with Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell on Goin’ Back Home.
◊   “Aiko Biaye” is a Nigerian folk song that was originally adapted by Ginger Baker’s Air Force. Only the set’s closing title track is “new.” As is to be expected, drums are at the heart of every tune here. The interplay Baker enjoys with his longstanding percussionist Dodoo is down to the level of pure musical instinct. Circular rhythms go hand in hand with syncopation — check the excellent reading of Wayne Shorter’s mysterious modal blues “Footprint” as well as “Aiko Baye.” One has seldom heard Ellis play it as straight as he does here. Despite his pedigree with James Brown and Van Morrison, Ellis sticks to his love of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins throughout. His playing is physical yet economic and imaginative; particularly effective is his solo atop the interlocking rhythmic grooves on “Ginger Spice” and his big-boned, songlike break on Rollins’ Caribbean-flavored stomp “St. Thomas.” Baker’s playing is spot on throughout. He showcases imagination and swing rather than firepower on Ellis’ fine “Twelve and More Blues,” where he first engages in fluid call-and-response with Dankworth, and then in an elastic dialogue with Dodoo. Likewise, his longer break on “St.Thomas” offers the spirit and creativity of his earliest work on the British jazz scene, albeit with a more seasoned textural flair. Closer “Why?” is the only place where heat and dynamic bubble over. Hinting at his work with Fela Kuti, a chanted female vocal chorus brings elements of bubbling Afro-funk to the fore even as Ellis quotes from “Wade in the Water” in the melody. It’s a dramatic closer. Why? signals a welcome, rootsy, and classy return for Baker to recording, despite his notorious “Beware Mr. Baker” grimace in the cover photo.
Website: http://gingerbaker.com/

Ginger Baker Why? (2014)



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