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Baker's Dozen

Air Force 13: Ginger Baker's Favourite Albums
David Stubbs , November 26th, 2012 07:26

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion are playing London's Jazz Cafe this week and are one of the first acts to be announced for next year's Field Day; in advance, the legendary drummer picks out his top 13 LPs

Ginger Baker is best known as the drummer of Cream, featuring Eric Clapton, the trio whose voluminous, blues-based rock preceded both The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin and countless heavy rock outfits. However, Baker himself is always at pains to describe himself at a jazz drummer and dislikes intensely the amplification of rock, from a performing viewpoint in particular. Despite enduring a turbulent relationship with bassist Jack Bruce, Cream did manage to stay together for three years and even reunited in 2004 for a series of major concerts. Unlike practically every other superstar rock group of the era, all of Cream's members are alive and well.

Baker started life with the Storyville Jazz Men and The Hugh Rainey Allstars before joining the Graham Bond Organisation, the British blues boomer outfit where he distinguished himself with his soloing and singular approach to the drum kit. Success with Cream swiftly followed, before he and Clapton formed the short-lived Blind Faith. A lover of African percussion, Baker spent several years in Nigeria in the early 70s, recording with Fela Kuti. His subsequent collaborators ranged from Gary Moore to Public Image Ltd to jazz greats Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden, with whom he formed a trio in the 1990s.

As a player, rather than a rock historian, Baker has tended to be immersed in his own work, hence the unusual emphasis on his own back catalogue – but then, a Baker's Baker's Dozen has licence to be as distinctive as the man himself.

Baker will be playing the Jazz Cafe in London this Wednesday, November 28, with his jazz-fusion group, the Jazz Confusion, accompanied by tenor saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis - for more details and tickets, go to the venue's website here. They will also be playing the Quietus' very own Village Mentality stage at Field Day 2013 - for tickets, head here.

Click on Baker's picture below to begin scrolling through his choices.