Monday, August 19, 2019

Battery Life: Ginger Baker 80

It's Monday and a milestone for a motherfucker.
I was just reading his Facebook fan page. The general gist of the comments is I Don't Believe He Made It.
This guy, though. I think of the movie about him, where he socks the director right in the chops at the end.
The stories of his last given fuck running out sometime around age six are all true, folks. In fact, I'd suspect he's worse than they say.
The truth is I would not be at all surprised if when we die, he's the one keeping the gate and telling us to go to Hell one last time before the trapdoor opens.
What can be said? There's drummers and then there's Maestros. And then there's Ginger Baker.
Invented heavy rock with Cream. Indulged in Blind Faith afterwards. Formed his own Air Force, then his own Army. Jammed with Fela. Created a legend equal parts musicianship and maniacal.
Some folks are just tapped into a higher impulse and when the bumbaclaat dipshits show up like moths to a flame of something the dipshits will never achieve themselves, the Ginger Bakers of the world don't hold back on the well-earned vitriol.
Maybe he is just mad because he had to stoop to Rock to make money, as when he came up Jazz was dying on the vine.
In fact, once the money was in the bank, he started to play Jazz a whole lot of the time.
Take, for instance, this incredible trio set from this 1995 festival in Europe, where he's joined by two absolute luminaries of the Jazz firmament... one of whom I began this month by tributing on his birthday.
Apparently part of this was filmed and shown on German TV, but this dub of it comes from the complete FM broadcast.
Ginger Baker Trio
16th Deutsches Jazzfestival 
Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks 
Frankfurt, Germany 

01 FM announcement
02 Rambler
03 Ginger Blues
04 I Lu Kron
05 Ramblin'
06 Spiritual
07 Aïn Témouchent
08 When We Go
09 Straight, No Chaser
10 In the Moment

Total time: 1:08:09

Ginger Baker - drums
Charlie Haden - bass
Bill Frisell - guitar

off-air FM master cassette
Anyway he made it to 80, and that's a big deal for anyone; especially someone of this caliber of unassailable artistic pedigree, that's spent almost 60 years suffering some pretty egregious fools to get it.
Like I said, watch the movie. It has all the answers and some more of the questions.
I'll return soon with more, but you better dig on this incredible show or Ginger Baker -- born this day in 1939 -- will take time out of his birthday cake celebration to kick your ass.--J.